Coinbase Global (COIN) - Get Coinbase Global Inc Reportis having a wild week.
The cryptocurrency exchange platform was confronted with reports that it is selling Immigration and Customs Enforcement a set of tools used to track and identify cryptocurrency users, and said it was seeking licenses with several European countries.
According to The Intercept, ICE has access to a number of forensic capabilities provided by Coinable Tracer, the company's intelligence-gathering tool that was previously known as Coinbase Analytics.
Coinbase Tracer allows businesses, both public and private, to trace transactions through the blockchain, a distributed ledger of transactions that is essential to cryptocurrency use.
According to a Freedom of Information Act request, ICE is now able to monitor transactions conducted with over a dozen digital currencies, including Bitcoin, Ether, and Tether.
'Our First Concern'
Coinbase retaliated against the accusations.
"We want to make this extremely clear:Coinbase does not sell proprietary customer data," the company stated in a tweet. "Our primary goal has been and always will be to provide the safest and most secure crypto experience to our customers."
In a follow-up tweet, the company stated that "our Coinbase Tracer tools are designed to assist in compliance and investigate financial crimes, including money laundering and terrorist financing."
"Coinbase Tracer does not make any use of Coinbase user data." Coinbase claims.
The lack of a defense has sparked outrage on social media.
"You guys couldn't allow Celsius to have all of the fun in the spotlight,huh?" a person responded, referring to Celsius Network, which has suspended fund withdrawals and other activities from its platform.
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The expansion of Europe is on the way.
"I'll never buy any more cryptocurrency on your platform." Another person added that you're probably allowing the government to follow us with your new ICE agreement.
Coinbase does not sell user data to the government, according to another tweet. "Rather, they sell tools to the government that enable them to track your data."
Coinbase said that it is considering licenses with several European countries.
Coinbase said the company is expanding in France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. It is already in operation in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Germany.
Coinbase is experiencing the impact of the crypto price decline at a time.
Coinbase said last month it would eliminate 1,100 employees, or roughly 18% of the company's workforce, and its share price value and market cap have declined as a result of the company's public offering last year.
'Building Around the World' is a term used by the BBC.
Coinbase stated at the time that "we may be entering a recession." "While we tried our best to get this just right, in this case it is now clear to me that we overhired."
Kenneth Worthington, a JPMorgan analyst, has lowered his rating on Coinbase to neutral from overweight, while lowering his price objective by more than $100 to $68 per share.
Nevertheless, the company is aiming for European expansion.
In a July 1 blog post, the company said that the temptation can be to avoid international expansion during market downturns."We first entered the UK and EU during the bear market in 2015, a move that paid off significantly during the bull run a few years later."
"Well continue to build around the world, and doing everything we can to grow the cryptoeconomy," said the company.