CipherTrace Develops Monero (XMR) Tracing Tools for US Department of Homeland Security
CipherTrace, the leading crypto Intelligence firm, has developed forensic tools that can track Monero (XMR) transactions; threatening the value proposition of this privacy and anonymity focused digital currency. The company announced this development on August 31, noting that the newly developed tracing tools will be used by the U.S Department of Homeland Security in its execution of crypto-related criminal investigations.
Monero, which has been the go-to crypto for illegal transactions, now supports around 45% of the darknet markets, trailing Bitcoin with a few points. Its rise has since attracted the attention of authorities and industry stakeholders like CypherTrace, which now seeks to add value in Monero tracking. The CEO of CipherTrace, Dave Jevans, noted this milestone has been in the works for over a year,
“Our research and development team worked for a year on developing techniques for providing financial investigators with analysis tools. There is much work still to be done, but CipherTrace is proud to announce the world’s first Monero tracing capability. We are grateful for the support of the Department of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology Directorate on this project.”
The CipherTrace XMR Tracking Solution
According to the CipherTrace announcement, the firm will provide an array of tools that can track Monero transactions in the case of an investigation or inquiry. Notably, the firm was in a contractual agreement with the DHS Science and Technology Directorate, hence a focus on forensic tools that can be used by government agencies and law enforcement.
“These tools include transaction search, exploration, and visualization tools for Monero transaction flow that have been integrated with CipherTrace’s Inspector financial investigations product.”
The new tools come as a big boost in oversight, especially on tracking activities such as terror financing and money-laundering, which have found a habitable environment in crypto markets. A CipherTrace employee, Jefferies, told Cointelegraph that they can now trace ransomware that was transacted via Monero. Other than law enforcement, financial institutions whose operating niche is crypto stand to benefit from a due diligence perspective.
A Violation of the U.S Bank Secrecy Act?
While the development is favorable to some stakeholders, skeptics, including the Chief Strategy Officer of the Human Rights Foundation, Alex Gladstein is of the view that crypto tracking is not good for cryptocurrencies. Speaking on the Blockchain Debate Podcast, Gladstein said that such approaches to crypto oversight might assist dictators to thrive through spying on crypto transactions. In addition, it would be a violation of the U.S Bank Secrecy Act which provides for privacy on transactions below $10,000,
“I realize we have the Bank Secrecy Act, but transactions under $10,000 should remain private. This isn’t supposed to be given to the government, but if Jevan’s company gets its way, this gets washed away, and even little microtransactions become fair game for the U.S. government or even worse, dictatorships.”