Chainalysis and Texas firm win million-dollar IRS contract to crack Monero

The IRS has named the winners of its bounty program to track transactions on privacy tokens and layer-2 protocols.

On Wednesday, the IRS awarded two $625,000 contracts looking for tracing tools for privacy token Monero and Layer 2 protocols. The winners were blockchain analytics firms Chainalysis and Integra FEC.

The IRS initially publicized its quest for a privacy-busting analytics solution at the beginning of the month. An IRS representative told Cointelegraph that the agency had selected the two winning firms out of a field of 22 proposals received, though the only rationale the representative gave for the agency’s decision was “comparative analysis was used.”

Chainalysis is among the leading firms in crypto analytics and routinely wins such contracts with a range of government agencies. Integra FEC is a relatively unfamiliar name, despite millions of dollars in contracts with, for example, the Securities and Exchange Commission for “Other Scientific and Technical Consulting Services.”

Integra FEC had not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment as of press time. Chainalysis declined to comment, as it generally does when questioned about its work on privacy tokens.

As governments ramp up their interest in crypto tracing, the field of firms working on crypto tracing is likely to expand. In mid-September, the U.S. Treasury blundered with sanctions on a Monero wallet that turned out to be a payment ID.

Publication date: 
09/30/2020 - 18:44
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