Over the years cryptocurrency has become less and less anonymous due to blockchain forensics firms which specialize in de-anonymizing transactions, and Bitcoin (BTC) has gone from being the stealth currency of choice to being almost totally non-anonymous.
However, one cryptocurrency in particular, Monero (XMR), has really been irking blockchain forensics firms, as well as the government agencies and banks which use blockchain forensics tools. This is because despite all of the advancements in blockchain forensics technology, Monero (XMR) continues to be impenetrable.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is now upping the ante in order to make sure that Monero (XMR) finally gets cracked, and is offering a $625,000 bounty to anyone who can crack Monero’s (XMR) privacy. Additionally, this bounty is calling for technology which de-anonymizes the Bitcoin (BTC) Lightning Network as well, which is an easier task, but the technology to trace lightning transactions has apparently not been fully developed yet.
It remains to be seen if anyone will ever be able to crack through Monero’s (XMR) encryption, but if it happens, apparently the government will be the first one to have the technology.
Zooming out, this continues the arms race between the Monero (XMR) developers and the government, which is the crypto equivalent of David versus Goliath. In this case the government has far more resources, and is extremely motivated to wipe out anonymous cryptocurrency transactions, but so far the Monero (XMR) developers have stayed ahead of the curve.
On a final note, at least for now Monero (XMR) remains fully anonymous, but Monero (XMR) users should certainly keep a close eye on this situation, just in case Monero (XMR) really does get cracked at some point.