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Crypto exchange Coinbase has agreed to sell geo-tracking data to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) is selling tracking and identifying features to Ice to track and identify crypto users. According to the contract documents, Coinbase’s intelligence-gathering tool, Coinbase Tracer, has provided ICE with a suite of forensic features.
Formerly Coinbase Analytics, Coinbase Tracer can be used in the government and private sectors to trace transactions through the blockchain. Coinbase touts Tracer across the corporate space and law enforcement industry. The company boasts of the feature’s ability to investigate illegal transactions such as terrorist financing and money laundering.
Coinbase Provides Geo Tracking Data to ICE
The documents that show the deal agreement between Coinbase and ICE explain that ICE can now trace transactions conducted with 12 cryptocurrencies. These digital coins include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), Bitcoin Cash ABC, and Ripple’s XRP. Others are Zen, LTC, Stellar’s XLM, ZCash (ZEC), and DASH. With the Coinbase analytic feature, ICE will have insight into transfers of the specified cryptocurrencies, which is a “multi-hop link analysis for incoming and outgoing funds.” Some analytic features also include “transaction demixing and shielded transaction analysis.” This particular feature will focus on the people launcher money by camouflaging it as crypto transactions.
More often, the issue of using crypto for money laundering has been a topic of discussion. Many are of the opinion that criminals use cryptocurrencies to conduct a lot of illicit activities. Many also believe that crypto transactions are used in funding terrorism because it is untraceable.
Coinbase spokesperson Natasha LaBranche emphasized on a disclaimer on its website which states:
“Coinbase Tracer sources its information from public sources and does not make use of Coinbase user data.”
Notably, Homeland Security Investigations, a division of ICE, purchased the Coinbase Tracer. In addition to dealing with immigration matters, the division also handled transnational crimes, which cover all forms of financial offenses.
Coinbase is currently trading at $47.98 in after-hours trading. The trading price is a 2.04% gain over its previous close of $47.02. The crypto exchange has been recording losses over the past year, declining nearly 81% in the last 12 months. Also, COIN has dropped 81.37% since January and another 75.23% in the last three months. The company has shed more than 36% over the past month and 20.14% in the last five days. A giant in the crypto space, Coinbase has a market capitalization of more than $11 billion.