The US Revenue Service receives applications from participants who believe they can breach Monero’s privacy. As a reward for those who achieve this; it pays $ 625,000 in two stages.
The U.S. Revenue Administration cited privacy coins as the motivation behind increased cybercrime.
According to an official recommendation released last week, the U.S. Revenue Administration (IRS) will pay up to $ 625,000 to anyone who breaks the untraceable cryptocurrency Monero and other privacy coins.
In the proposal, “Expert is looking for a solution with one or more contractors to provide innovative solutions for tracking and correlating privacy coins such as tools, data, source code, algorithms and software development services.” It was said.
Privacy coins like Monero allow users to transfer their funds with strong privacy. For this, they use various methods such as hiding the transaction amounts and wallet addresses of the sender and receiver. Such coins; It is different from Bitcoin or Ethereum where addresses can be traced back to the identity of the person after they are sent to known wallets, crypto money exchanges.
US Revenue Administration “Currently, there are limited research resources to track transactions involving confidential cryptocurrencies such as Monero or other off-chain transactions that provide privacy to illegal actors.” he added.
Reward for Breaking Monero
According to the applicants conditions; They are invited to present a working prototype of how they want to crack Monero.
These prototypes; It can range from a system that provides identifying information of a Monero wallet user, to the exact time, date and amount of a particular transaction on the network, to more sophisticated tools that can statistically predict when a particular address will take place.
The US Revenue Administration receives applications for proposals until September 16. Participants will receive their prizes in two stages: First, the initial $ 500,000 payment (eight months after the acceptance of the proposal) to develop and prove the working concept of a privacy hacking tool, and then, after the pilot test, a $ 125,000 payment will be completed and approved by the government.
Increasing Cyber Crimes
The unit stated that one of the motivations behind the proposal was the increased criminal use for privacy coins such as Monero, that privacy coins are becoming more popular and are being used more by illegal actors.
In April 2020, a ransomware group called Sodinokibi announced that future ransom payments would be made in Monero (XMR) instead of Bitcoin (BTC) due to transaction privacy concerns.
So far, firms like Chainalysis have worked with the US government to uncover criminal activity on popular cryptocurrency networks like Bitcoin. Just last month, the firm announced by the Revenue Administration that it helped bring down three organizations.
But even Chainalysis had a hard time finding the privacy mechanisms of cryptocurrencies like Monero. Blockchain analytics firm CipherTrace claims to have a solution, but this is still discussed by members of the Monero community.