CipherTrace, the Cryptocurrency Intelligence Firm has announced that it has developed a toolset that could trace the Monero transactions. The procedure has already been tested at the command of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Similar to the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, Monero (XMR), too, has gained good popularity owing to the privacy-focused infrastructure that makes it the second most popular crypto coin for the dark web transactions following the Bitcoin. Nevertheless, CipherTrace claims that the tools will permit the investigators for exploring, searching and visualizing the Monero transactions.
CipherTrace states that the firm had spent a whole year while working on the toolset. This was performed through a contract with the DHS Science & Technology Directorate. As per GovTribe, around $2.4 million was paid out to the CipherTrace during the course of the contract that was linked back in 2018 and bore a maximum potential value of $3.6 million.
The toolset was ideally developed for the use of the DHS for tracking the stolen or illegally utilized funds. CipherTrace simultaneously suggests that the trading desks, cryptocurrency exchanges and the investment funds will also be benefitted by knowing that they are not accepting the tainted funds and they will be remaining in the compliance with the regulations.
Moreover, the cryptocurrency intelligence firm plans to add some more functionalities in the future to the existing toolset version having features such as wallet identification, entity transactions clustering and exchange attribution.
— CipherTrace (@ciphertrace) August 31, 2020
The announcement would seem to be a blow against the Monero cryptocurrency, the Monero transactions and the privacy coins’ exclusive features, yet, the company portrays it as a positive for the future of XMR – especially when some of the exchanges delisted it.
“Analytics is crucial to the survival of privacy coins because, if they cannot evaluate risks, some governments could make transacting with privacy coins extremely difficult or ban them outright, like Japan,” said CipherTrace CEO Dave Jevans, in a statement provided by the company.
“Several Korean Exchanges delisted privacy coins and, just last week, several Australian exchanges banned Monero and Zcash. As privacy advocates ourselves, our hope is that by developing capabilities for tracing Monero, we can help to ensure Monero’s viability.”
Jevans shed some more light on the effectiveness of the tools. He stated that tracing Monero transactions takes up a different approach than the Bitcoin cryptocurrency tracing tools while the results are not that definite. However, law enforcement still gets something that they can cross-reference with the various other data and the resources to aid in conducting the investigation.
“You can’t be as deterministic as Bitcoin,” he said. “In tracing Monero, it’s really more of a probabilistic game. You can say: Well, I have 98% probability that this went from this address to this address, or 78%, or that type of thing. It takes a different approach, rather than [saying]: I’m going to guarantee everything is perfect…”
“We’re not saying that we can identify individuals and we’ve never done that at CipherTrace. We don’t identify individuals, names, addresses, any of that stuff,” Jevans added. “What we do provide are tools for law enforcement, when there’s legitimate crimes, to help them do investigations and then do their work to identify the individuals.”
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