A Thursday Bloomberg report said that the Biden administration plans to intensify efforts to track cryptocurrency payments, especially ransomware attacks. The government will address cybersecurity and crypto’s payment role in these attacks.
This report comes after the State Department announced that its Rewards for Justice Program would offer bounties up to $10,000,000 for assistance in identifying cyberattackers on critical infrastructure in the United States. According to the government agency, it has set up a tipline through Tor’s browser network. This was created by U.S. officials for anonymous Internet communications and may offer crypto payments for information about ransomware attacks.
As part of a task force headed by the U.S. government, U.S. officials seized more than $2 million worth of crypto to pay ransom in response to an attack on Colonial Pipeline. Lisa Monaco, Deputy Attorney General, stated that the seizure was the first major operation of the task force’s mission, which included investigating, disrupting, and prosecuting cyberattacks against critical infrastructure. She also hinted that it would continue to look into similar cases.
Users want their crypto funds to be secure from government oversight. However, it is a source of frustration for lawmakers who are trying to levy taxes and stop funds from being used for illegal activities. The IRS offered a $625,000 bounty last year to anyone who could trace transactions on the Bitcoin Lightning Network and privacy coins such as Monero (XMR) as well as Bitcoin transactions.