Coinbase shares data with government agencies

Publicly traded crypto exchange Coinbase is thought to be working with the US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify and track cryptocurrency investors.

Reports suggest that documents seen by the executive director of tech accountability non-profit Tech Inquiry, Dr Jack Poulson, reveal ICE uses an “intelligence-gathering tool” called Coinbase Tracer.

The tool provides the government agency with the ability to access transactions and historical geo-tracking data of crypto users, according to various reports.

The Intercept has reported that Coinbase sold ICE an analytics software license for $29,000 in August 2021.

This was followed by a software purchase worth an estimated $1.36m the following month, although it was unclear at the time what the software was to be used for.

ICE was established to protect the US from illegal immigration and cross-border crimes.

The documents shared by Poulson with The Intercept, reveal that ICE has access to various forensic features through Coinbase Tracer tool, which was formerly known as Coinbase Analytics.

Coinbase is known to have collaborated with other government agencies in the past, including providing intelligence features to the Inland Revenue Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Secret Service.

The cryptocurrency exchange has more 73 million customers across the globe but claims that Coinbase Tracer “sources its information from public sources and does not make use of Coinbase user data”.

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Updated: 07/01/2022 — 13:00