Coinbase signs $1.36M contract with Department of Homeland Security
Coinbase, the leading cryptocurrency exchange based in the United States, has recently signed a contract of $1.36 million for developing tech for the Department of Homeland Security.
Under the agreement, Coinbase is responsible for delivering an application-based software for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement division (ICE).
The contract mandates Coinbase to receive $455,000 from the department, coming into effect on September 16. Accordingly, the contract might get extended for up to a three years period, making Coinbase acquire up to $1.36 million for achieving the contract goal.
The current deal is the second in the series of partnership projects between ICE and Coinbase. Earlier in August, Coinbase had secured a sum of $30,000 for providing “computer forensics services” to the agency.
Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer of Human Rights Foundation, has remarked at the contract saying that the compensation is “relatively low” as per Coinbase’s reputation and risks involved. Gladstein said the amount “isn’t very much money” for the grand scheme of things.”
The announcement also received backlash concerning Coinbase’s 2019 acquisition of Neutrino, a blockchain-based analytics startup.
During the acquisition, it was reported that the team behind Neutrino had previously been a part of the Hacking Team. This company had helped authoritarian governments to spy on media persons.
Giancarlo Russo, CEO of Neutrino, had been the ex-COO of the Hacking Team while its Alberto Ornaghi, its CTO, worked for the firm for more than eight years. According to the Washington Post, the Italian firm had been implicated in the murder of several journalists in the Middle East between 2013 and 2018.
In March 2019, Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase had said that the respective Neutrino staff with prior connections to the controversial company Hacking Team would transition out of their new roles at the exchange.