According to the statement, the SEC is trying to find businesses able to provide blockchain data to support its risk monitoring and compliance enforcement activity, as well as inform the commission about digital assets. Last month, the agency announced that cryptocurrencies are one of the its top examination priorities for the current year.
According to the Jan. 31 statement, the agency expressed interest in potential sources for data concerning the most popular blockchain ledgers. Other than providing the data, the companies are also required to parse the data for ease in reviewing.
Furthermore, the SEC also requests information concerning an overview of the data extraction, conversion and verification processes. The agency also asks the participating companies to outline their “capability to derive insights from the available data,” including the identification of the owners of crypto addresses.
Companies willing to respond to the agency’s request should send their response via email by Feb. 14 containing a brief capabilities statement package, the document notes.
In August 2018, an agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) noted that while privacy-focused cryptos are more anonymous than Bitcoin (BTC), the agency has still ways to track them. The agent, Lilita Infante, declared:
“The blockchain actually gives us a lot of tools to be able to identify people. I actually want them to keep using them [cryptocurrencies].”
Managing partner at Andreessen Horowitz, Scott Kupor, also suggested in mid-July 2018 that “Bitcoin is law enforcement’s best friend” due to the ability to track illicit transactions on the blockchain.