The federal law enforcement agency under the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Secret Service, has revealed something quite unexpected. The Secret Service has revealed that they will be leveraging the blockchain analytics service of none other than Coinbase.
Going On Since May Of 2020
USASpending.gov stands as a directory for government contracts of the US, and it shows that the Secret Service docked out $183,750 in order to secure a four-year contract with the crypto exchange. This agreement will allow the Secret Service to leverage the Coinbase Analytics service. It shows that the agency had begun using Coinbase Analytics since the 11th of May, 2020, with the contract itself reaching expiry on the 10th of May, 2024
The news itself comes just after a month since it was revealed that Coinbase itself had offered to license its analytics platform. The offering was made to both the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), as well as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Massive Fears Badly Quelled
All three events mentioned above, from the IRS and DEA offerings to the affirmative Secret Service contract, has been met with a rather understandable amount of pushback. The fact of the matter is, Coinbase users are now afraid that their privacy has been put in jeopardy, as these government agencies can now view their on-chain activities.
Brain Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, made an official statement about the matter at large when the Secret Service contract gained media coverage. Armstrong claimed that the entire matter wasn’t even newsworthy to begin with, which is stretching it, even for a public statement.
A Brief History
In Armstrong’s explanation, he stated that Coinbase itself uses a third-party blockchain analytics service, though they were aware that they needed an in-house blockchain analytics service. After the successful acquisition of Neutrino, which occurred back in February of 2019, they were capable of bringing this need to light.
Armstrong summarized that the cost of an in-house analytics platform and its development is an expensive one, and these licensing deals are an attempt to recoup the costs. Furthermore, he cited the relationships with law enforcement agencies that can be built through these contracts. This, Armstrong says, could help benefit the crypto ecosystem as a whole, in order to catalyze growth and mainstream integration.
All that is well and good, and is a natural progression of the crypto industry as a whole. The Wild West era of crypto is coming to a close, and government contracts are the first of many such testaments.