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  • Russia plans to build a bitcoin monitoring tool to track crypto wallets possibly linked to criminal activities, CoinDesk reported.
  • The government has selected a contractor to develop the proprietary tool for roughly R3 million.
  • The tool must maintain a database of crypto wallets and monitor the behaviour of market participants.
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    Russia plans to build a bitcoin monitoring tool to track cryptocurrency wallets possibly linked to criminal activities as well as terrorism financing, CoinDesk first reported Wednesday.

    The nation's financial monitoring service, Rosfinmonitoring, has selected tapped a firm called RCO for a contract to develop the proprietary tool for roughly R3 million, reduced from an initial price closer to R4 million.

    RCO is owned by one of Russia's major information technology companies.

    Apart from tracking, the tool must maintain a database of cryptocurrency wallets and monitor the behaviour of market participants, CoinDesk reported, citing the auction page.

    Aas early as 2018, Russia had been looking into cryptocurrency tracking, according to CoinDesk.

    Meanwhile, the UK, is considering banning anonymous cryptocurrency transactions for the same reasons - to tighten its crackdown on money laundering and terrorism financing.

    Cryptocurrencies have been at the centre of recent high-profile cyberattacks, demanded as ransom by criminals because transactions are either anonymous or very difficult to trace.

    The United States is said to be ramping up efforts to trace cryptocurrencies used in cyberattacks and is planning to offer bounties of up to the equivalent of R140 million for information that will help catch criminals.

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