Coinbase Tracer, the analytics arm of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, has signed a contract with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement that will allow the agency to access various features and data caches, including “historical geo-tracking data.”
Coinbase Tracer, according to Web site, designed for governments, crypto companies and financial institutions. This allows these clients to track transactions on the blockchain. It is also used to “investigate illegal activities, including money laundering and terrorist financing” and “verify risky cryptocurrency transactions to ensure regulatory compliance.”
The deal was originally signed in September 2021, but the watchdog team has only just received the contract. Technical request. The deal was for a maximum of $1.37 million, and at the time we knew it was a three-year contract for Coinbase’s analytics software. The discovered contract allows us to learn more about what this deal entails.
This deal will allow ICE to track transactions made in twelve different currencies, including Ethereum, Tether and Bitcoin. Other features include “transaction splitting and hidden transaction analysis”, which appear to be aimed at preventing users from laundering funds or hiding transactions. Another feature is the ability to “multi-stage analysis of incoming and outgoing funds”, which will give ICE an idea of the currency transfer. The most cryptic of these is accessing “historical geo-tracking data” and we’re not sure how location data is related to cryptography or what ICE might use it for in this context. (ICE has not yet responded to Gizmodo’s request for a comment.)
This is not the first time Coinbase has dealt with government agencies. In August 2021, Coinbase signed a contract with ICE to license their analytics software to the agency, but the contract was worth $29,000. And in April 2021, Coinbase licensed Coinbase Tracer to the Secret Service for less than $50,000. A similar deal was made a year earlier, in May 2020.
Coinbase stated that the information provided by the analytics software constitutes the exchange of customer data. And then he posted the following tweet.
“All Coinbase Tracer features use data sourced entirely from publicly available online data,” the spokesperson said. Coindesk“And don’t include any personal information for anyone or any proprietary Coinbase user data.” Coinbase sent Gizmodo to the above tweet.
Updated 06/24/2022 6:10 PM ET This post has been updated to include a tweet from Coinbase.
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