Coinbase’s First Transparency Report Reveals The Federal Bureau Of Investigation Leads In Information Requests

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase detailed government requests for its users’ data in the company’s first transparency report released on Friday, October 16.

The report revealed that in the first half of 2020 Coinbase received 1,914 information requests from government agencies with 98.6% pertaining to criminal investigations with the Federal Bureau of Investigation leading the charge.

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​Report author and Coinbase’s chief legal officer, Paul Grewal, highlighted that many of the requests come in the form of subpoenas with others coming as search warrants and court orders. They highlighted that the exchange is obligated to comply with these requests, but assured users they would push back against government oversteps.

“That’s why each request we receive is handled by a team of experienced specialists in accordance with set procedures to confirm the validity of the request and narrow or object to requests that are overly broad,” the report reads.

As evidence of the company’s commitment to customers’ privacy, authors referenced Coinbase’s court battle with the Internal Revenue Service after the regulator issued a summons for customers’ data. Coinbase fought the summons and was able to prevent a majority of requested customers’ data from being turned over.

United States agencies made 58% of requests, with the United States, United Kingdom and Germany making up 90% of all requests. Out of US agencies, the FBI made 30.5% of requests; Homeland Security made 16.5%; State and local police made 16.2%; the Drugs Enforcement Administration made 9.3% and the Internal Revenue Service made 8.8%.

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The report comes as government agencies are taking an increased interest in regulating the cryptocurrency space.

By Emily Mason

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