The European Union’s top law enforcement agency, Europol, is seeking an intern with the skills to trace bitcoin transactions, according to a job posting on its website.
The posting seeks applicants for the ‘Open Sources Collection and Analysis’ project which will support Europol’s Cyber Intelligence Team.
Applicants should have skills in analysing bitcoin transactions and an interest in blockchain technologies in general. Among the technical skills that the role requires are:
“[An] elementary understanding of tracing and attribution of bitcoin transactions and proven interest in blockchain technologies.”
Candidates should also have “knowledge of anonymisation and encryption tools that are abused by criminals”, according to the job ad.
The successful candidate will be based at Europol in The Hague. He or she will contribute to a quarterly report focusing on “new trends, threats and patterns” in cybercrime, with a special focus on anonymisation and encryption tools.
Europol said it could not comment on the position because of data protection rules when contacted by CoinDesk.
Open source intelligence
The job ad demonstrates that Europol considers bitcoin transactions a form of ‘open source’ intelligence, or OSINT. Indeed, the successful candidate will be supported by an OSINT specialist from the Cyber Intelligence Team.
Open source intelligence is a type of intelligence collection discipline that relies on gathering and analysing a broad range of publicly available information, according to one definition from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The OSINT role is one of six internships open at the agency. Successful candidates start in February.
Europol has analysed bitcoin’s potential for abuse at the hands of criminals in a number of reports. In September, the agency said bitcoin could account for as much as 40% of criminal-to-criminal payments online, fostering the growth of a ‘crime-as-a-service’ ecosystem online.
Featured image: Europol EC3 Forensic IT Lab / Europol