VIRTCRIME project started

The goal of the VIRTCRIME project lies in the development of novel algorithms and methods for tracing criminal transactions in post-Bitcoin era virtual currency systems, while considering illegitimate activities in Darknet market places. Expected tools will build upon results from previous projects (e.g., BITCRIME) and can be validated by stakeholders in an early project phase using real-word application use cases. Orthogonally, the project will provide novel criminological procedures and law enforcement approaches, and investigate legal pre-conditions and consequences.

The expected results of the VIRTCRIME project are: (i) novel criminological procedures and evaluations of legal conditions and consequences, (ii) novel algorithmic methods for analysing post-Bitcoin era virtual currencies, (iii) novel monitoring methods for Darknet market places, and (iv) a test environment, which allows cross-domain validation of methods based on real-world application scenarios.

The project will not only address the needs of stakeholders that are part of the consortium, but will also, in regular intervals, reach out to other private (Erste Bank Group) and public (FMA, BMJ) stakeholders to validate project results based on their requirements. Furthermore, VIRTCRIME will organize trainings for staff members of these institutions.

Austria holds, based on previous research, an internationally leading position in the field of virtual currencies and Darknet market analysis. Developed approaches have successfully been applied in real-world investigations. VIRTCRIME ensures that Austria can further strengthen this position and supports the implementation of international recommendations on a national level; in particular those developed in the context of the der “Global Conference on Countering Money Laundering and Digital Currencies” conference[1] in January 2017.

[1] https://www.baselgovernance.org/news/global-conference-countering-money-laundering-and-digital-currencies