FICO Patent Filing Hints at Plans for Bitcoin Exchange Monitoring

The company behind the FICO credit score system is looking at how to collect information from bitcoin exchanges, new public documents show.

AccessTimeIconSep 25, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:57 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

The company behind the FICO credit scoring system is looking at how to collect information from bitcoin exchanges as part of a new anti-money laundering product, new public documents show.

A patent application from FICO, published September 21, details a programmable system for detecting potentially illicit transactions and flagging them for future review. That information would then be used to develop "threat scores" to be utilized by bank anti-money laundering specialists, according to the filing.

Included in the document is a description of how the system could be utilized to track information from bitcoin exchanges as part of the scoring model.

The text states:

"Because emerging payment systems such as mobile and cryptocurrencies may have limited interaction with traditional financial institutions, there are more limited opportunities to detect laundering which involves them. To improve detection, a cloud based data store integrates information from multiple sources, including: ... a) Entities associated with legal and illicit bitcoin exchanges [and] b) Entities associated with mobile payment and remittance networks."

FICO goes on to state that "it is important to collect and centralize information on legal exchanges and administrators (miners, etc.)," indicating that the system could be applied to other parts of the bitcoin ecosystem beyond exchange operators.

Further suggesting that such information might be gathered covertly, the filing adds: "Having information on legal bitcoin operators helps the AML Threat Score learn their behavior, and detect changes in their behavior that may signal new illicit use (without explicit knowledge of the operator)."

Credit score image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.