A very nasty (but predictable) rumor comes to our ears concerning Coinbase. It’s no longer about the massive dismissal of its employees, already confirmed 2 weeks ago, but about the transmission of transaction data of its customers. It is more precisely the United States Immigration Service that would have “motivated” Coinbase to spill the beans.
US agencies are very interested in Coinbase Tracer
The life of cryptocurrency exchange platforms is becoming more complex as regulatory frameworks tighten around the world. Coinbase seems to be fully aware of this, and seems to not only want to stay in full compliance, but even to take advantage of it.
According to a revelation from Tech Inquiry, notably reported by CoinDesk, the crypto exchange will be providing data about its users to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).
This data transfer, which will be done via the Coinbase Tracer transaction analysis program, would even be the subject of a contract signed for 3 years. It would include transaction history and geolocation data of the exchange’s customers.
A $1.8 million contract, but without disclosing personal data, really?
Jack Poulson, director of Tech Inquiry, confirmed the information in an interview given this June 30. Now, the overall contract between the exchange platform and ICE would be $1.8 million.
“Jack Poulson of Tech Inquiry explains that the contract Coinbase has with ICE increased by $450,000 yesterday. It’s now worth $1.8 million, and the scope has been extended for another year (…)”
A Coinbase spokesperson defended his company, retorting that the crypto exchange will not transfer private data that identifies its users:
“All of Coinbase Tracer’s features use data that comes entirely from online, publicly available data, and does not include any personally identifiable information for anyone, nor does it include any proprietary data of Coinbase users.”
Coinbase’s new collaboration with U.S. government agencies shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Indeed, as early as July 2020, the exchange platform was already selling this same product (then known as Coinbase Analytics) to the US Secret Service (USSS).