IRS Seeks Help Cracking Cryptocurrency Secrecy | PYMNTS.com

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The United States may have some of the world’s best cryptographers working for the National Security Agency and other spy shops, but the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is crowdsourcing at least part of its effort to beat the algorithms that cloak information about certain cryptocurrencies.The agency recently issued a request for proposals from anyone who can help track payments using the Monoro or Lightning protocols and similar approaches to hiding tracks.”The use of privacy coins is becoming more popular for general use, and is also seeing an increase in use by illicit actors. For example, in April 2020 a RaaS (Ransomware as a Service) group called Sodinokibi (a former affiliate with the GrandCrab RaaS group) stated that future ransom request payments will be in Monero (XMR) rather than bitcoin (BTC) due to transaction privacy concerns,” the agency states in its RFP.”Currently, there are limited investigative resources for tracing transactions involving privacy cryptocurrency coins such as Monero, Layer 2 network protocol transactions such as Lightning Labs, or other off-chain transactions that provide privacy to illicit actors,” the release states.Among the assertions made in the RFP is that developers of successful cracking software will not have to disclose its inner-workings …

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