Coinbase secures a $1.36 million contract to create technology for the Department of Homeland Security.
Coinbase Hired by The ICS
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement division hired Coinbase to provide “application development software as a service” to them under the terms of the deal.
Coinbase will earn $455,000 from the government under the contract terms, which began on September 16. The contract, though, maybe renewed for up to three years in total. Additionally, Coinbase receiving up to $1.36 million in total.
The agreement provided is Coinbase’s second with ICE. Following a $30,000 contract to the exchange to offer “computer forensics services” to the agency in August.
The revelation has sparked outrage in the crypto community. Moreover, with Human Rights Foundation chief strategy officer Alex Gladstein claiming that considering the scope of Coinbase’s activities and the reputation risk presented by the collaboration, the pay is “quite low”.
The report has also reignited debate about the acquisition of blockchain analytics firm Neutrino by Coinbase in 2019.
During the year of the acquisition, they discovered that the Neutrino team had previously worked for Hacking Team. The Hacking Team is a firm accused of assisting authoritarian regimes in spying on journalists.
Giancarlo Russo, Neutrino’s CEO, was once the COO of the Hacking Team, and Alberto Ornaghi, the company’s CTO. They worked there for more than eight years. The Italian firm was involved in the assassinations of many journalists in the Middle East between 2013 and 2018.
Neutrino employees with past ties to the notorious business Hacking Team would transfer out of their new jobs at Coinbase in March 2019, according to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.
Cyber Fraud Task Force
Coinbase has also signed contracts with the US Secret Service. Therefore, announcing the formation of a Cyber Fraud Task Force in July 2020, after it acquired Neutrino. The task of the task force was looking into the usage of cryptocurrencies for illegal reasons.
Coinbase is in a regulatory battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC has taken issue with its proposed stablecoin lending programme and threatened to sue it.