According to a report in BBC Russia, Russia's financial monitoring service, Rosfinmonitoring, intends to purchase analytical software that will enable it to more easily track cryptocurrency transactions. This system will be provided by Moscow Institute for Security and Information Analysis (SPI), a Russian tech company that specializes in data analysis and visualization.
Rosfinmonitoring, responsible for the investigation of financial fraud, money laundering, and terrorist financing, has long been suspicious of cryptocurrency. In a statement from 2014, the agency claimed that cryptocurrency was actively used "in the trade in drugs, weapons, counterfeit documents and other criminal activities, " and that using cryptocurrency was itself evidence of money laundering or terrorist financing.
The cryptocurrency analysis software Rosfinmonitoring will use will be integrated into its current financial analysis system, the Unified System of Rosfinmonitoring, which, according to the BBC article, "allows you to add scattered information about the suspects in financial crimes and find connections between them."
This software, therefore, doesn't represent an expansion of any surveillance powers for Rosfinmonitoring. Rather, it is simply hoping to get a more powerful tool for analyzing blockchain information that is, and always has been, publicly available.
Russia is not the first country to partner with a tech company in an attempt to decode crypto transactions. Last year, it was revealed that the IRS has been working with Chainalysis since at least 2015 to detect tax evasion. Chainalysis has also worked with European investigators.
Translations by Google.