CipherTrace Releases DHS-Funded Monero Tracing Tools

Key Takeaways

  • CipherTrace has released a set of Monero tracing tools.
  • The toolset is the result of funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Services that began last year.
  • The Monero community is skeptical of the tool’s effectiveness.

Blockchain analytics firm CipherTrace has announced the release of a set of tracing tools for use with the privacy coin Monero.

CipherTrace Provides Tracing Tools

CipherTrace’s Monero toolset reportedly allows the company’s clients to trace funds “backwards from the transaction of interest to its source.” It also includes visualization tools for that purpose.

CipherTrace CEO Dave Jevans stated that the tracing toolset “bolsters the viability of privacy coins for the long-term” by allowing exchanges and other cryptocurrency companies to comply with anti-money laundering (AML) requirements.

The company plans to charge $16,000 per year per user for the toolset, which will be available for existing CipherTrace users—primarily institutions and government agencies.

CipherTrace has also applied for two U.S. patents for the toolset.

Monero Toolset Was Funded By the DHS

Today’s press release says that the tools are “based on research partially funded by the Department of Homeland Security.”

CipherTrace initially began to work on its tool for the DHS in August 2020. Monero researchers quickly criticized the company for failing to prove a viable tracing method. Unlike most blockchains, Monero relies on stealth addresses and other additional features that make transaction analysis difficult if not impossible.

Today’s announcement does not give any further details about how CipherTrace’s tracking product actually works, and as such, most of the original criticism from the Monero community still stands.

More recently, Monero Outreach dismissed the toolset as vaporware that merely promised future development. Now that a tool has apparently been released, that particular criticism seems to be inaccurate.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.

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