Coinbase Eager Selling Blockchain Analysis Software To Government Agencies


Blockchain Analytics Software Sale: Coinbase, the most prominent cryptocurrency exchange, is now eager to sell its blockchain analytics software named Coinbase Analytics. According to the public documents, two U.S. government agencies would be buying the software from Coinbase.

As records obtained through the sources, it reveals that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) aspire to purchase the licenses from Coinbase for Coinbase Analytics. In April and May respectively, the documents associated with the purchases by these two U.S. government agencies were published.

However, the document from the IRS draws a relationship between the Coinbase Analytics and Neutrino (an intelligence agency that Coinbase purchased in 2019 and remained as a controversy). After the acquisition of Neutrino, Coinbase was involved in the debate as its founders’ were engaged in Hacking Team (an Italian spyware firm). Coinbase ultimately revealed that it would part ways with all the then team members of Neutrino who are associated with Hacking Team.

The IRS document explains that as the law enforcement techniques advance and the other crypto coins get a green flag for acceptance, the criminals are utilizing different types of cryptocurrency coins and not merely Bitcoins to facilitate the criminal activities. Besides the Bitcoin blockchain, formerly known as Neutrino, permits the analysis and tracking of the cryptocurrency flow in multiple blockchains that the criminals are currently involved. Along with this, the Coinbase Analytics also features some advanced law enforcement sensitive capabilities, which are not found in the other tools on the market at the moment. This action is supposed to result in a Firm Fix Priced purchase order, where the Period of Performance (POP) is one base year from the date of the award having one 12-month option.

Image: Fortune

The public records demonstrate that Coinbase has not officially been granted the awards. While at the same time, the company does not show up in the queries that are submitted to (a directory for the government contract awards). Under a database page, the registration of Coinbase to offer products and services to the U.S. government became active on the 28th of April having an expiration date of the 13th April, 2021.

The spokesperson of Coinbase as a comment stated that the information that is offered in the blockchain analytics software, Coinbase Analytics have always been kept entirely separated from the actual Colinbase internal data. In this regard, he added that the Coinbase Analytics Data is wholly sourced from the publicly available data online and is devoid of any personally identifiable data/information for anyone. This procedure is carried out for all regardless of whether or not the identities use Coinbase.

When asked about Coinbase Analytics, he said that it is a blockchain analytics product that they use internally for compliance and global investigations. It is a  tool of utmost importance made to meet their regulatory requirements and also to protect their customers’ funds. Coinbase Analytics has also been developed with the technologies from the acquisition of Neutrino. Coinbase also provides this product to the law enforcement agencies and the financial institutions in order to support compliance and the investigation use cases. What this tool offers them is solely streamlined access to the data that is publicly available, and they do not have any Coinbase internal or customer data at any point.

The press time has not returned a request for comment that has been sent to the Department of Justice (DOJ). It remains unclear as to how much Coinbase would be paid for the licenses. The document of DEA, however, includes a subheader and explains that it is necessary for the Limited Source Acquisitions over $10,000 but at the same time will not exceed $250,000 and indicated that the amount paid would belong within the stipulated range.

The documents of both the government agencies throw light on the fact that both of them wants to implement Coinbase’s platform to their investigative toolkits. While in the case of the IRS, the software will be implemented by the Criminal Investigation Cyber Crimes Unit of the tax authority.

Moving on to the DEA document, it states that Coinbase Analytics (CA) Cryptocurrency Tool offers the investigators with the identity attribution along with the de-anonymities virtual currency addresses both domestically and internationally. Coinbase Analytics is also known for its attribution accuracy that comprises of some of the most conservative heuristics utilized in the commercial blockchain tracing tools. This remains crucial in avoiding the false positive during the target identification.

Image: Voice of America

Furthermore, it explains that lacking this advanced tool, would not be able to manage the on-spot verification of the money movement. This is the cheapest tool on the market bearing the maximum features for the money. The latter statement is devoid of any price point.

A Limited Source Document of DEA is dated the 11th February 2020, and in accordance with the contract directory, it was initially published on the 18th of May 2019. It has been noted that all the communications concerning this posting shall be in writing and received on or before 10:00 am (ET) on the 22nd of May, 2020. The IRS document had been posted on the 7th of April.

Coinbase Analytics isn’t a publicly acknowledged offering. Nevertheless, the term had appeared in a since-removed job listing that required a Senior Frontend Engineer. On searching, the results against that particular job listing still appear through the Google search similar to the Product Manager position for the same company.

Later on, it has come to notice that Coinbase Analytics (CA), the blockchain analytics software has planned to sell it to the government agency duo for $250,000.

One of the cryptocurrency traders and analysts named John Rager had polled on Twitter where he asked 73,000 followers if they would in real delete or cease using their Coinbase account. To this, over 5000 people had responded, and 66% (two-thirds) said that they would opt out of the regulated exchange. The remaining 33% of the respondents wanted to stay.

The platform has thousands of personal user information that has been extracted from the rigid Know-Your-Customer (KYC) requirements in consent with the US policies. Previously, the exchange had also shared the data of 14,000 clients who flogged $20,000 worth of cryptocurrency or more with IRS, to the distress of the investors. Some of the investors showed that they turned disillusioned with the Coinbase’s ‘dream’.

Source: The Block Crypto

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