US Crypto Exchange Dismisses Allegations of Private Data Sales to Gov't

The biggest US crypto exchange dismissed allegations that it sold customers’ private data to government agencies.

Coinbase denied the allegations that it had been selling sensitive user data to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, assuring its users that it has always taken their protection into account.

  • Earlier this week, The Intercept reported that it had obtained proof that Coinbase is selling certain data to the ICE; as a result, the agency can track and identify crypto users.
  • The report said that the exchange had sold "a single analytics software license to ICE for $29,000, and then a software purchase potentially worth $1.36 million the next month."
  • The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a federal law enforcement agency operating under the Department of Homeland Security. It was founded nearly two decades ago.
  • As noted in another document by Tech Inquiry's director Jack Poulson, Coinbase has given the agency access to a "range of forensic features" from Coinbase Tracer (formerly known as Coinbase Analytics).
  • The report further claimed that the ICE now has the ability to track transactions made using some of the most popular cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, and USDT. This is due to Coinbase Tracer.
  • The exchange took to Twitter to deny the accusations, saying that its first priority "has always been and will always be" providing the safest and most secure crypto experience to its users.
  • In Q1 2022, Coinbase reported losses of over $400 million. The firm had to lay off nearly 20% of its staff due to the market crash, and its stock prices have plummeted.