IRS offering bounty to crack Monero! IRS offering bounty up to $625,000 for anyone who can crack the untraceable cryptocurrency Monero and other privacy coins, according to an official proposal published last week.
“IRS-CI is seeking a solution with one or more contractors to provide innovative solutions for tracing and attribution of privacy coins, such as expert tools, data, source code, algorithms, and software development services,” said the proposal.
Monero and other privacy crypto coins allow users to transfer their funds with enhanced and robust privacy. They’re able to do this by obfuscating the transaction amounts and the wallet addresses of the sender and receiver. Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, where wallets can be traced back to known addresses and crypto exchanges, Monero works to hide both addresses.
“Currently, there are limited investigative resources for tracing transactions involving privacy cryptocurrency coins such as Monero or other off-chain transactions that provide privacy to illicit actors,” the IRS added.
Under the terms of the proposal, private contractors and individuals are invited to submit a plan or working prototype of how they intend to solve the problem that Monero presents to the Internal Revenue Service.
The IRS is taking applications until September 16th for the proposal. Challengers will receive their bounty in two phases: $500,000 for developing and proving a working concept of a privacy crack tool, and a final $125,000 payment after the test is completed and approved by the government.
The IRS is pursuing this by explaining that privacy coins are becoming more and more popular with illicit actors. Rising criminal usage of coins such as Monero is fueling the agency to push through this type of proposal.
It explained, “In April 2020 a ransomware group called Sodinokibi that future ransoms payments will be in Monero (XMR) rather than Bitcoin (BTC) due to transaction privacy concerns.”
Chainalysis is a firm that has worked with the US government in helping to unearth criminal activity on popular crypto networks like Bitcoin. The firm was recognized by the IRS last month for helping take down three terrorist organizations.
Chainalysis, however, still has difficulty deciphering the privacy mechanism that fuels Monero and other privacy orientated coins.
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