Blockchain Transaction Tracker Planned By Japan’s National Police Agency

Blockchain, Crime, News | September 3, 2018 By:

Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) is planning to introduce a new blockchain transaction-tracking software in response to various crimes the agency has seen regarding the abuse of cryptocurrencies.

According to a news report from Japan’s national public broadcasting organization HK, the NPA is looking to increase its budget by 35 million yen ($315,000 USD) for the next fiscal year to fund the development of the new software. The software will reportedly track the flow of blockchain transactions flagged as suspicious and “visualize and locate” the individuals sending or receiving the cryptocurrency.

In February of this, the NPA said it received 669 reports of suspected money laundering from domestic crypto exchanges over eight months of 2017. In March, the agency released its first annual report of statistics tracking thefts from cryptocurrency accounts. According to the report, at least 149 cases of hacking emerged in 2017, with 16 crypto exchanges affected, as well as three wallet operators, through which around 662 million yen ($6M USD) was illegally remitted.

Since the Coincheck hack in Janury of this year, the Japanese government has been wary about cryptocurrencies. The hack prompted the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) to conduct surprise inspections for all exchange operators to look for security gaps.

Last month, the FSA published the results of its on-site inspections, noting that “substantial” ongoing review of registration procedures will be necessary. The probe revealed that crypto exchanges’ maintenance of their internal control systems has failed to keep pace with the rapid growth of transaction volumes, which it partly attributed to the “renaissance” of the crypto markets in fall 2017.