Coinbase sold software to US authorities to track crypto transactions

San Francisco, July 1 (IANS): Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has provided sophisticated tools to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to help track Bitcoin, Ether, and other cryptocurrency transactions.

According to a report from Intercept, Coinbase sold an analytics software license to ICE for $29,000 in August last year, followed by a software purchase worth a potential $1.36 million. the next month.

“ICE now has access to a variety of forensic features provided by Coinbase Tracer, the company’s intelligence collection tool (formerly known as Coinbase Analytics),” the report said Thursday.

Coinbase Tracer allows clients, both government and private sector, to track transactions via Blockchain.

A company spokesperson stated that “Coinbase Tracer derives its information from public sources and does not use Coinbase user data.”

The software is offered on a cloud subscription “as a service” basis.

ICE is a division of the US Department of Homeland Security and also looks into “broader transnational crimes, including various forms of financial crime”.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is forming a new specialized team dedicated to combating growing cryptocurrency crimes.

Fraudsters are taking advantage of the heightened fear and uncertainty during the pandemic to steal money and launder it through the complex cryptocurrency ecosystem.

“People of all ages, including the elderly, are being victimized by criminals through cryptocurrency-related fraud schemes. Developments in cryptocurrency technology and a growing number of businesses the accepting as a form of payment has led to the growing popularity and accessibility of cryptocurrency,” the FBI said. recently.

In April, the FBI accused North Korean hacker group Lazarus of stealing $625 million in cryptocurrency from the Ronin network, owned by developer group Sky Mavis.