DOJ's US Marshals Service Chooses Coinbase to Custody Crypto Assets

The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, has awarded Coinbase Prime a contract to manage and dispose of its large-cap cryptocurrency assets. 

This decision comes after a bidding process initiated earlier this year. The contract, issued on behalf of the Asset Forfeiture Division (AFD), addresses the Marshals Service’s need for managing and disposing of substantial quantities of popular cryptocurrencies, classified as “Class 1” digital assets. 

Coinbase Prime will be responsible for implementing storage and liquidation techniques in compliance with Department and USMS policies. The deal aims to streamline custody, management, and disposal processes for cryptocurrency while expanding the range of digital assets that can be handled under the government’s forfeiture programs. 

The contract is structured as a single-award Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) agreement with an initial ordering period of five years, with the possibility of a six-month extension.

The USMS earlier emphasized the need for professional, lawful, and policy-consistent handling of these digital assets. The selection process focused on finding a partner capable of providing “best value” to the government, utilizing the trade-off method for evaluation.

As of March 31, Coinbase’s service safeguarded $330 billion in assets and recorded $256 billion in institutional trading volume in the first quarter of 2024.

This contract represents a significant step in integrating cryptocurrency management into federal law enforcement operations. It also highlights the growing acceptance of digital assets in government processes and the need for specialized services to handle them securely and efficiently.

The collaboration between the USMS and Coinbase extends the platform’s existing relationships with law enforcement agencies, which date back to 2014, the company stated in a blog post. Coinbase currently works with major U.S. federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, as well as international bodies across all continents, the firm added.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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