Shortly after allegations arose that Coinbase had been selling sensitive user data to the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, the exchange denied them, reassuring that it has always looked out for its users.
- Citing contract documents it had observed, The Intercept reported earlier this week that it had obtained proof that Coinbase is selling certain data to the ICE, thus allowing the agency to track and identify crypto users.
- The coverage asserted that the exchange had sold “a single analytics software license to ICE for $29,000, followed by a software purchase potentially worth $1.36 million the next month.”
- Founded nearly two decades ago, the ICE is a federal law enforcement agency operating under the Department of Homeland Security.
- According to another document shared by Tech Inquiry’s director – Jack Poulson – Coinbase has given the agency access to a “variety of forensic features provided through Coinbase Tracer (formerly known as Coinbase Analytics).”
- The report further claimed that the ICE now has the ability to track transactions made through some of the most popular cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, and USDT, due to Coinbase Tracer.
- Somewhat expectedly, the exchange took it to Twitter to deny the accusations, saying that the company’s first concern “has been and always will be providing the safest and most secure crypto experience to our users.”
2/ Our Coinbase Tracer tools are designed to support compliance and help investigate financial crimes like money laundering and terrorist financing. Coinbase Tracer sources its information from public sources, and does not make use of Coinbase user data. Ever.
— Coinbase (@coinbase) June 30, 2022
- Coinbase has struggled in the past several months, reporting over $400 million in losses in Q1 2022. The firm had to lay off nearly 20% of its staff due to the ongoing market crash, and its stock prices have tumbled to new lows.
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