Bitcoin has been identified by the US Navy as a force for supreme evil, it has emerged.

A Broad Agency Announcement project for Navy Engineering Logistics Office of the Department of the Navy is currently being bid for by interested parties.

Among the parts of the project appear these two sections: “R3861 Counter Threat Finance” and “R3830 Methods and Means to Systematically Discern and Display ‘Precursors of Instability’ In the Dark Web.”

Quite a mouthful, but the message is serious, for among the ‘keywords’ mentioned in the brief is “Bitcoin.”

On the radar

As a quick reminder, the Dark Web is the name given to the pages of the internet which for a number of reasons are not included by standard search engines in results. The phenomenon can be likened to fishing on the surface of the ocean, while the ‘content’ deep below remains unknown. Likewise, it is estimated that this subsurface content is considerably larger than the surface Internet, with a preliminary study in 2001 estimating its size at around 7.5 petabytes.

Despite the US Navy being one of the developers of the Dark Web, it has long served as a haven for Bitcoin, including its less sanitary uses such as that of the Silk Road drugs trade.

Now, however, Bitcoin’s appearance on the list should make it an enemy of the people, according to the text of ‘R3830’, one of the supposed “adverse phenomena in the Dark Web, a region of the internet where activities such as trafficking in drugs, weapons, humans, and chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological technologies in support of disruptive, nefarious actions goes undetected.”

The article containing the text was leaked to Reddit, where it predictably caused a sensation among users, one commenting “What they're saying is ‘here is a giant list of buzzwords, we're not really sure if any of them poses a threat to/ benefits national security but if you can demonstrate to us that one of them does we might throw some money your way.’”

The community will now no doubt be nervously waiting for the next chapter of the saga to be published. In the meantime, you can read the call to arms here.