U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency tracking Bitcoin transactions
Well, well what do we have going on over here in this corner of the world? The US Government preaches to us all the time about life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Seems that the US ICE did not get that memo or training.
Nope I am not one of these guys.
Just wish ICE was not hamstrung by currently political BS! I guess they ware focusing on White Collar crimes? This information was obtained via Freedom of Information Act (FoIA).
Who exactly is ICE and what do they do? They are a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Where their main objective is to protect America from the cross-border crime and illegal immigration that threaten national security. They not only participate in security investigations and immigration issues, but also looks into "broader transnational crimes as well, including various forms of financial offenses.
ICE has been tracking Bitcoin (BTC) transactions...well at least for the past year!
What exactly are is ICE doing? They are performing analysis on multi-hops for incoming and outgoing funds.
How they do it? ICE has a tool called 'Coinbase Tracer', which provides capabilities for tracing transactions in blockchains. That includes transactions in/out!
Where are they doing this analysis? ICE has a contract w/ Coinbase, a $1.36M contract and the tracer program is just part of the contract.
Nearly a dozen Tracked cryptocurrencies include:
- ETH (Which includes all the ERC-20 tokens)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH ABC),
- Dash (DASH),
- Eos (EOS),
- Horizen (ZEN),
- Litecoin (LTC),
- Stellar (XLM),
- XRP (XRP),
- Zcash (ZEC),
Summary - So the US ICE agency has been tracking a dozen or so Crypto's for a year perhaps more. This is just one exchange (Coinbase) what will it take to scale this effort to 100's or 1000's of exchanges? What is the end goal? Will it take a a FoIA request to see how many other exchanges are participating in this? What happens if the exchange is overseas? Honestly, it did not take a rocket scientist to understand that all transactions are recorded in the clear, unless you are running one of the handful of security tokens. Assume those transactions are monitored coming and and out for certain!!!