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US plans to use Coinbase forensics tools

Public records show that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a top government border security agency, wants to utilize “computer forensics software” developed by Coinbase.

Details of the planned contract award were included in an August 3 document, which is currently live in the SAM.gov database. Though sparse in specifics, the notice of planned contract action states the following:

“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Acquisition Management (OAQ), intends to award a purchase order on a basis of other than full and open competition for computer forensic services. In accordance with FAR 13.106-1(b)(1)(i) and (ii), Coinbase, Inc. (DUNS number 081007539) is the only vendor who can reasonably provide the services required by the agency.”

“The estimated total dollar value for this requirement is $29,000.00 with an estimated
period of performance of one year, to commence on date of award. This requirement is LAW ENFORCEMENT SENITIVE[sic], therefore minimal information will be provided publicly,” the document later reads.

Though the dollar amount of the contract is relatively small, the existence of the pending deal reflects the growth of Coinbase’s analytics business line, though the company — which does the vast bulk of its business in the institutional and retail exchange and brokerage arena — remains a small player when compared to companies like Chainalysis. 

The Block reported last year that Coinbase was looking to serve as an analytics vendor to the U.S. government, using technology it obtained following its acquisition of the controversial intelligence firm Neutrino. Coinbase later scored contracts with the Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service.

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