The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of the United States is working towards ensuring that Blockchain technology is not misused illegally. It has released a pre-solicitation document which will push the study of the feasibility of tracking private transactions from privacy coins like Monero and Zcash.
A statement made in the document highlighted DHS’s positivity on Blockchain but not in ways it is being used illegally-
“While these [anonymity and privacy] features are desirable, there is similarly a compelling interest in tracing and understanding transactions and actions on the blockchain of an illegal nature.”
Pre-solicitation is the first step for a government research grant. Hence, in this case, it will help understand and analyze suspicious transactions through private cryptocurrency transactions.
It comes at a time when the U.S Treasury Department has placed Bitcoin addresses on sanction for the first time due to two Iranian hackers. These Iranian hackers were charged for creating the SamSam ransomware software and extorting millions of Dollars through Bitcoin.
Hence the US watchdogs are now keeping a closer eye on privacy coins that are made to avoid the transparent address details Bitcoin and Ethereum tend to show.
If the US government agencies do figure a way of tracking privacy coins, there will be a new challenge for the teams of these coins. They will have to outdo the efforts by the government to ensure they remain ‘privacy coins.’ The added threat of owners of privacy coins such as Zcash founder Zooko Wilcox going under scanners means specific steps may not be able to be carried out. With the sharp minds in the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency industry, it will be interesting to see how government agencies outwit them in the year 2019!
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