The United States Internal Revenue Service’ Cryptocurrency Tracing Bounty is worth up to $625,000 for anyone who can break purportedly untraceable privacy coins such as Monero (XMR), as well as trace transactions on Bitcoin’s (BTC) Lightning Network. 

The IRS will accept submissions as working prototypes until September 16. If accepted, applicants will receive an upfront payment of $500,000 over the next 8 months. This grant will allow applicants to develop their prototype into a working concept. Once the pilot test is completed and approved by the US government, another grant of $125,000 will be awarded.

About the United States Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the largest Federal law enforcement agency of the United States Federal Government. The IRS is responsible for collecting taxes and administering the Internal Revenue Code, the main body of federal statutory tax law of the United States. The federal government sometimes struggles to find ways to test, purchase and implement innovative technological solutions to combat cybercrime.

Then, Blockchain analytics firm CipherTrace claims to have a new tool that can trace several hundred cryptocurrency transactions of the Top 100 cryptos such as Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC), the firm said in a press release. Although there was previously no tool capable of tracking Monero transactions, transactions, CipherTrace also claims to have a new tool that can also trace Monero (XMR) transactions as well, although its capabilities are yet to be confirmed. This is extremely relevant, as recent findings show that cryptocurrency-related crimes in the first half of this year have already amounted to $ 1.4 billion in theft, hacking, and fraud (read the report). 

Using a virtual private network (VPN) for remote connections prevents cybercriminals from gaining access to your computer system. 

How to join the USA Internal Revenue Service
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Step-by-Step Guide ”IRS Cryptocurrency Tracing Bounty” 

  1. Visit the Pilot IRS Cryptocurrency Tracing Bounty page. 
  2. The Request for Proposal (RFP) is attached as well as the clauses and provisions document.
  3. Contractor shall submit a written proposal (no more than 10 pages in length) and should address a few questions (see page 4).
  4. There will be two (2) Phases for this SC: 
  • Phase 1 — Proof of Concept and Initial Working System, One or more of Software Development, Data Feeds, Tools (NTE $500K / 8 months): 

    Phase 1 will consist of a demonstration of the proof of concept and an initial working system that should reliably produce useful results on a variety of real-world CI cryptocurrency investigations involving Monero and/or Lightning, as well a clear plan documenting how it can be enhanced or expanded in further phases. It will also include initial user feedback for the developed system. This user feedback may be obtained from users from different agencies. If selected, a contract action for Phase 1 funding will be provided no more than 30 calendar days after selection

     

  • Phase 2 — Testing and Pilot/Initial Deployment: One or more of Software Development, Data Feeds, Tools (NTE $125K / 120 days):

    Phase 2 will consist of an expansion to add additional functionality and improve the accuracy of the system developed in Phase 1. This could include but is not limited to, support for handling additional obfuscation methods, broader cryptocurrency support, additional statistical modelling techniques, integration of additional data, and/or other enhancements to the functionality and accuracy of the system. Selections and funding for Phase 2 will be made within 5 calendar days from the end of Phase 1.

Deadlines: Proposals are due Wednesday, September 16, 2020, at 08:00 EDT. No late submissions will be accepted or considered or evaluated. IRS expects to provide approximately $1M in FY20 funding across all solutions (based on the maximum duration of 8 months for Phase 1, this will not include funding for Phase 2). Proposals are due to marcela.a.almeida@irs.gov by the state due date. The Request for Proposal (RFP) is attached as well as the clauses and provisions document. 


For more information about the United States Internal Revenue Service’ Cryptocurrency Tracing Bounty, please check the Official Announcement.

Estimated value

up to ~$ 625,000 for each approved candidate



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