Digital Forensics Dispatch

Digital Forensics Blog
by Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

ICE to use Forensics Tools Created by Coinbase

August 19, 2021

In a recent article on The Block, Michael McSweeney covered a small but intriguing development involving the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s digital forensic capabilities.

The agency, often referred to by its three letter acronym ICE, has been a significant digital forensic force in the federal government, with a substantial number of examiners on staff working human trafficking and child exploitation cases among others. The latest purchase highlighted by the article was revealed though a planned contract award posted to

The notice states that ICE “intends to award a purchase order on a basis of other than full and open competition for computer forensic services. In accordance with FAR 13.106-1 … , Coinbase, Inc. … is the only vendor who can reasonably provide the services required by the agency.”

The estimated dollar amount of the contract, $29,000, will hardly register as a blip for either Coinbase or ICE but the relationship is interesting nonetheless. The request is law enforcement sensitive so little other detail is included. One can imagine however that digital forensic tools developed by Coinbase, a major exchange and player in the cryptocurrency industry, and a three letter government agency like ICE will benefit law enforcement’s efforts to keep up with crypto.

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