IRS Will Pay $625,000 to Anyone Who Can Crack Monero, While Binance Offers $100,000,000 to Coders Building on DeFi

The US Internal Revenue Service says it’s ready to give a cash reward of $625,000 to anyone who cracks Monero (XMR) and other privacy coins that aim to make financial transactions untraceable.

The proposal by the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) comes as illicit actors increasingly use privacy-focused cryptocurrencies. The report notes that in April, the ransomware-type program Sodinokibi revealed that it would be using Monero instead of Bitcoin (BTC) in future ransom request payments to hide traces of their transactions. 

“IRS-CI is seeking a solution with one or more contractors to provide innovative solutions for tracing and attribution of privacy coins and layer 2 off-chain transactions, such as expert tools, data, source code, algorithms, and software development services to assist their cyber crimes agents in carrying out their mission as it relates to cryptocurrency privacy technologies.”

Meanwhile, Binance is offering a big financial incentive of its own – this one for legitimate crypto coders. The exchange just created a $100 million seed fund to attract more decentralized finance (DeFi) coders to its smart contract-enabled Binance Smart Chain.

Each proposal will go through security audits and due diligence. Approved DeFi projects can get up to $100,000 in funding while their tokens will benefit from the liquidity available through Binance’s proprietary blockchain. The Malta-based firm says high-quality projects may also be listed on Binance. 

“Selected beneficiaries will also enjoy support from the resources we offer across the Binance ecosystem. This includes access to millions of customers, media information in the ecosystem, knowledge education, incubation financing, derivatives, financial management, and other comprehensive resources and financial support.”

Binance’s new initiative comes amid a booming DeFi market. According to DeFi Pulse, which tracks the decentralized finance industry, the total value locked in DeFi is now worth $7.82 billion.

Featured Image: Shutterstock/Tithi Luadthong