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On August 31, 2020. Ciphertrace released: https://ciphertrace.com/ciphertrace-announces-worlds-first-monero-tracing-capabilities/

What are these tracing tools doing exactly to trace monero?

CipherTrace delivers Monero tracing tools to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to support investigations of crimes. Menlo Park, CA – August 31 2020 – Leading cryptocurrency intelligence company CipherTrace has developed tools for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to track transactions of notoriously difficult-to-trace privacy coin Monero (XMR).

CipherTrace’s contract with DHS Science & Technology Directorate resulted in the development of forensic tools for law enforcement and government agencies to trace and visualize Monero transaction flows for criminal investigations. CipherTrace developed tools to explore Monero transactions to assist in investigations. These tools include transaction search, exploration, and visualization tools for Monero transaction flows that have been integrated with CipherTrace’s Inspector financial investigations product. This provides ways to track stolen Monero currencies or Monero currencies used in illegal transactions. It also helps assure cryptocurrency exchanges, OTC trading desks, investment funds and custody providers that they do not accept Monero from illicit sources and investigate Monero received from potentially illicit sources and take appropriate actions to stay in compliance.

With 45% of darknet markets now using Monero—the second-favorite cryptocurrency of choice among criminals just behind bitcoin—law enforcement interest in Monero tracing has soared. Monero employs a particularly unique design to ensure user anonymity including always-on, enforced privacy. Ring signatures, which enable transaction mixing, are built into the protocol design, so when attempting to locate the source of a transaction, it will appear as if a whole crowd of users took part in the exchange, making it nearly impossible to identify the true source.

“Monero (XMR) is one of the most privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies,” said Dave Jevans, CEO of CipherTrace. “Our research and development team worked for a year on developing techniques for providing financial investigators with analysis tools. There is much work still to be done, but CipherTrace is proud to announce the world’s first Monero tracing capability. We are grateful for the support of the Department of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology Directorate on this project.”

The tools CipherTrace developed within the scope of this DHS project have also laid the groundwork for future implementation of entity transactions clustering, wallet identification, exchange attribution, and other functionality that will provide law enforcement with even more tools for investigating Monero transactions and addresses.

For media inquiries, please contact Kili Wall at (310) 260-7901 or Kili(at)MelrosePR(dot)com

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This Press Release (which is all it is) has already been discussed at length on Reddit and largely refuted. The CEO even admitted in an interview they are just using heuristics (he also showed not knowing the difference between a wallet address and an output public key so take from that what you will as to the authenticity/credibility of the rest of their claims).

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