Coinbase Tracer, the analytics arm of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, has signed a contract with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement that would allow the agency access to a variety of features and data caches, including “historical geo tracking data.”
Coinbase Tracer, according to the website, is for governments, crypto businesses, and financial institutions. It allows these clients the ability to trace transactions within the blockchain. It is also used to “investigate illicit activities including money laundering and terrorist financing” and “screen risky crypto transactions to ensure regulatory compliance.”
The deal was originally signed September 2021, but the contract was only now obtained by watchdog group Tech Inquiry. The deal was made for a maximum amount of $1.37 million, and we knew at the time that this was a three year contract for Coinbase’s analytic software. The now revealed contract allows us to look more into what this deal entails.
This deal will allow ICE to track transactions made through twelve different currencies, including Ethereum, Tether, and Bitcoin. Other features include “Transaction demixing and shielded transaction analysis,” which appears to be aimed at preventing users from laundering funds or hiding transactions. Another feature is the ability to “Multi-hop link analysis for incoming and outgoing funds” which would give ICE insight into the transfer of the currencies. The most mysterious one is access to “historical geo tracking data,” and ICE gave a little insight into how this tool may be used.