On September 16, the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase signed a contract with the United States Government for the amount of USD 1.36 million. In this way, the company will provide blockchain analytics software to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service, under the Department of National Security.
According to the data published by the Attorney General’s Office From the United States, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service disbursed USD 455,000 to acquire computer and telecommunications technology for «commercial application» and for «software development ».
However, the figure reported by the US government is only a portion of the total amount of the contract, which was released by various media, such as Decrypt.
Exactly one month ago, on August 19, 2021, CriptoNoticias had reported the purchase of a monitoring software by the same US public body from Coinbase. On that occasion, the operation was for “barely” USD 29,000, so it is clear that the nexus between both parties has grown since their first incursions in 2020. In fact, the aforementioned media affirms that this It is Coinbase’s most expensive contract with a state entity.
In 2020, the exchange house – one of the most visited in the world according to data from CoinMarketCap – with nearly three million weekly visits – he had served the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Internal Revenue Service. At that time, as well as now, the exchange received criticism for offering its resources to the State, as reported by this media.
Why is Coinbase collaborating with the United States Government?
After knowing the news, this was the question that many users asked on Twitter. For example, human rights activist Alex Gladstein. In addition to questioning the company’s motives for collaborating with a public body, Gladstein noted that $ 1.36 million “is not a lot of money for Coinbase” and that it is “strange that they risk so much their reputation for a relatively small sum.”
Even Coinbase’s relationship with US watchdogs is not the best. In early September, the exchange reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission threatened to sue it for one of its loan services for which it would not have authorization. The company assured that this is “an intimidating practice.”
Beyond the financial details, no precise information has been provided about the reason for which the Immigration and Customs Service requires Coinbase analytical tools. In August, this body had explained that it was a matter “sensitive to enforce the law” and therefore no further details were provided in this regard.