According to journalists, the parties did not enter into a license agreement imposing restrictions on the use of the Coinbase Tracer tool

Coinbase provided the US authorities with software to track crypto transactions

30.06.2022 - 09:30


2 min

What’s new? The Intercept, an investigative journalism outlet, has published details of the contract that cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase entered into with the US authorities in 2021. According to the contract, the platform provided the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with Coinbase Tracer, an analytics software, to track transactions and historical geolocation data of shipments. It is noted that between the parties there is no license agreement that imposes restrictions on the use of the tool.

Information on The Intercept’s website

What is the application for? Coinbase Tracer allows customers to track transactions through the blockchain and identify suspicious transactions that may be linked to money laundering or terrorist financing. Tracer is positioned as a tool for corporate and government investigations. Transactions made in currencies such as BTC, ETH, USDT, and a dozen others are available for tracking through the software.

Coinbase’s response. The exchange’s representative Natasha LaBranche sent The Intercept a disclaimer posted on the company’s website. It states that Coinbase Tracer obtains information from public sources and does not use the platform’s user data. She did not answer questions about how ICE uses Coinbase Tracer or whether the company imposed any restrictions on that use.

In late April, Reuters reporters reported that the head of the cryptocurrency exchange Binance for Eastern Europe and Russia, Gleb Kostarev, agreed to provide data of Russian clients to the Federal Financial Monitoring Service of the Russian Federation and the Federal Security Service. According to the sources, Kostarev struck a deal with government agencies and negotiated the creation of a unit in Russia through which authorities can request access to data such as names and addresses to help fight crime.

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