The Feds Are Watching: Law Enforcement, ICE Sign Deal with Coinbase For ‘Analytics Software’

The Feds Are Watching: Law Enforcement, ICE Sign Deal with Coinbase For ‘Analytics Software’


The Feds Are Watching: Law Enforcement, ICE Sign Deal with Coinbase For 'Analytics Software'. Image credit: Traitov/ ISTOCK, https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/Traitov?mediatype=photography

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has just inked a $1.36 million deal with Coinbase for analytics software and it’s reportedly around 40 times larger than the last deal the agency made with the crypto exchange.

Under the new contract, Coinbase will provide the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) branch with blockchain analytics software. Coinbase will also provide software to the U.S. Secret Service and Inland Revenue, according to the Federal Procurement Data System.

The deal is worth around 40 times more than Coinbase’s last contract with the Homeland Security branch, Decrypt reported. In August, ICE paid Coinbase $29,000 for forensics software. 

Coinbase Analytics connects cryptocurrency transactions to real-world entities and can investigate fraudulent blockchain activity. It is not known how ICE will use Coinbase’s blockchain forensic tool, Yahoo reported. 

Besides ICE, Coinbase has made deals with other federal agencies. It has previously sold its analytics tools to two U.S. government branches: the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Inland Revenue Service, Decrypt reported.

Isaiah Jackson, the author of the book “Bitcoin and Black America,” has warned Black America against using Coinbase because of the company’s nontransparent deals with the Feds.   

“Idc if I have to debate 1 Million black people You niggas are going to learn: 1. Delete Coinbase 2. Stay away from XRP 3. DCA Bitcoin,” Jackson tweeted on Dec. 30, 2020.

With Coinbase working closely with various government agencies, many in Black America have privacy concerns. Then there’s also the issue of the company’s internal race problem

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Coinbase employees have complained they were treated unfairly because of their race.

“While management at the company has argued that the complaints were limited to a handful of employees, Coinbase’s own compensation data suggests that inequitable treatment of women and Black workers went far beyond a few disgruntled workers,” Sun-Sentinel reported.

Data obtained by The New York Times revealed that 16 salaried Black people surveyed were paid $11,500, or 7 percent, less than all other non-Black employees in similar jobs.

In addition to wage disparities, Black employees were mainly employed in lower-paying jobs at the company.

Numerous Black employees at Coinbase publicly complained about the discrimination they faced at the company. 

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Coinbase isn’t the only digital currency exchange company looking to make deals with the government. “Coinbase joins a crowded field of cryptocurrency analytics companies – Chainalysis, Elliptic, CipherTrace and others – vying for a piece of the federal pie,” CoinDesk reported. “Agencies from all corners of the U.S government regularly contract with crypto intel firms, inking deals for their tracing software worth millions, and sometimes stretching years.”

Image credit: Traitov/ ISTOCK