The United States government is looking to offer rewards of up to $10 million in cryptocurrency to anyone with information on suspected cyber terrorists, extremists, and state-sponsored hackers.
A new platform named “Rewards for Justice (RFJ)” was created by the U.S. State Department to allow informants to submit anonymous tips and information in return for rewards in digital assets. The informants can choose whether or not to receive the compensation as cryptocurrencies.
Intending users can submit tips via an unsecured Wi-Fi network called #Rewardsnotransoms on the platform, which was promoted at a Black Hat USA event that ran from July 31 to August 5 in Las Vegas.
The initiative was described as ‘the U.S. government’s most public foray into crypto assets’ by Former Director of the U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center William Evanina.
Tips are already coming into the platform, but one State Department official emphasized that cyber-enforcement operations are usually a slow process, noting that:
We are receiving tips. We are evaluating tips. We’ll share those tips with the interagency partners. They must then use that information and reach out and begin their investigation.
Another official said:
I think this offer of cryptocurrency is something that we will be using in the future for other types of rewards. It could encourage other types of sources to come to us with information who may not have wanted to come to us before.