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Forget Harry and Meg, Her Majesty is Offering £100,000 for Software to Track Your Bitcoin

TL;DR: Her Majesty (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) is offering £100,000 to anyone who can help the agency better track cryptocurrency users. It’s part of a growing effort by governments to overcome the rise of privacy-oriented tools and project-specific coins. 

Her Majesty is Offering £100,000 for Software to Track Your Bitcoin

“The ability to track and trace,” a more detailed description of the contract states, “and for the tool to maintain this capability following any forks or other underlying currency change, for the following Cryptoassets as a minimum: Etherium, Etherium Classic, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Tether, Litecoin,” with an added, “Preferable requirement – plans to develop capability for Monero, Zcash, Dash” are just some the software’s requirements.

HMRC Cryptoasset analysis tooling is the formal title of the government contract recently announced by the agency. HMRC is “one of the UKs largest organisations, with approximately 60,000 full-time equivalent staff. Almost every individual and business in the UK is a direct customer of HMRC,” an introduction to the contract begins. The HMRC collects taxes, taking-in “over £500 billion a year in revenue from 45 million individuals and 4.9 million business customers.”

Her Majesty

The software tracking position will ultimately be through its “cybercrime” unit, “responsible for criminal investigations relating to fraudulent access to HMRC online services. These online services enable assessment and collection of billions of pounds of annual tax revenue.” Her Majesty is clearly worried about the proliferation and usage of crypto. “Whilst the transactions are typically public, the participants undertaking them are not. Commercially provided services work to link transactions with the institutions and people participating, using a range of sources.”

To veterans of the ecosystem, the equivalent of $130,000 for that kind of capability within slightly under three weeks to deliver might not seem reasonable. Whatever the actual case, it does go to the greater point tax revenue agencies are beginning to understand they’re being cut out of a burgeoning market.

David Bond

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