HMRC, the tax agency in UK, recently announced it offers a bounty of $130,000 for the business/individual that can track crypto criminals and privacy coins. The news comes as the United Kingdom tries to clamp down on the tax evasion that happens through crypto. This is done through the establishment of a bounty program.
The HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) is the UK’s tax authority. The bounty is issued for those that can effectively identify and track crypto criminals. At the same time, this fights the nature of privacy coins, which are meant to be completely anonymous.
The Tax authority agency tries to analyze major cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, Tether and Ether in a unique way. The aim is to learn as much as possible about crypto users so that money laundering and tax evasion cannot happen.
HMRC’s analytic process is meant to offer something specific, listed as:
“Provision of a tool that will support intelligence gathering methods to identify and cluster cryptoasset transactions into linked transactions and identify those linked to cryptoasset service providers.”
There is no restriction to the coins that are officially targeted by the HMRC. The contract was specifically extended in order to include different privacy coins, like Dash, Monero and Zcash.
Officially, the goal that the HMRC has is to uncover user intent when using cryptocurrency:
“Many of these crypto-asset transactions are recorded publicly in a ledger known as a blockchain. Whilst the transactions are typically public, the participants undertaking them are not. “
The above-listed reward is for the company that can trace cryptocurrency. As a result of the partnership, the chosen company would be in a contract that starts in February. Partners that are interested can apply by the end of January.
Luno CEO Marcus Swanepoel, declared in an interview for CNN.com:
“There are a number of blockchain and transaction monitoring tools available which allow every transaction inwards or outwards to be screened against known sanctioned addresses, high risk exchanges, dark web marketplaces, stolen funds etc. Transactions can be stopped and appropriate action taken on accounts which conduct illicit activity.”
What everyone in the cryptocurrency industry knows is that tracking privacy coins is not currently possible for governments and even analytics companies.
The bounty that is offered is very low, given how valuable it would be for an agency to have the tools needed to achieve the goal of tracking privacy coins. It is not clear what exactly the HRMC wants but the truth is that such tracking is much more valuable than the bounty offered.