The IRS has set up a bounty on Monero (XMR). The one who cracks the privacy-centric cryptocurrency is going to receive a $650,000 reward. The reason? The tax agency has been unable to trace transactions made through this cryptocurrency, many of which are deemed illegal.
Without being able to track down Monero transactions, the IRS hasn’t been able to collect tax money measured in millions of dollars. As extreme times require extreme measures, the agency has decided to offer to pay a heft sum to a contractor who’s capable of breaking the Monero code.
The $625,000 Monero Bounty
The Internal Revenue Service is looking for a solution that would enable the federal agency to trace the transactions made with Monero (XMR), which is considered one of the most privacy-focused currencies in the crypto universe.
The one who persuades the IRS of being able to crack the code will receive the $625,000 compensation in two phases. The first will arrive to their bank account after supplying the proof-of-concept. The second payment comes after the Monero-tracing solution is ready for launch.
According to the T&C of the offer, the contractor(s) will have to provide updates on their progress on a weekly basis. Another condition is that they will have to work together with the CI Cyber Crimes unit, whose role is to supervise the entire project.
Why the IRS Has a Beef With Monero?
If there’s something the IRS hate, it’s tax avoiders. Since its launch in 2014, Monero has often been used for tax-avoidance purposes. The reason is simple – the IRS does not have the tools to track down the transactions made with Monero.
The same is the reason why this coin has become the favorite payment method in the criminal underworld. The currency is getting increasingly popular on Dark Web, with a majority of darknet markets accepting this cryptocurrency as a mode of payment. Criminals use it to buy illicit stuff such as drugs, weapons, stolen credit cards, and so on.
Apart from proper criminals, this cryptocurrency is also loved by cybercriminals, especially those involved in cryptojacking. This activity involves hacking users’ devices and using their computing power for cryptocurrency mining.
Speaking of which, cryptojacking has become a real nuisance in the United States that even the Marine Corps has decided to act against it by banning certain mobile apps. Whether that’s the way to deal with the problem remains a big question. Nevertheless, the fact is that about 4% of all Monero coins in circulation were created through cryptojacking.
Using Monero for Legal Purposes
Even though Monero is getting a reputation of a cryptocurrency loved by criminals, a majority of more than 17 million XMR coins currently in circulation are used for legal purposes. And it seems that this coin is going to get even more popular in the near future thanks to its opaque nature.
At the moment of writing, the price of one XMR is $84.51, which is almost 10x the price it had just four years ago. Starting with summer 2016, the price of Monero started going up, eventually reaching its peak in January 2018, when its price was $429.42.