Coinbase Turned Over Info on 1,914 Users; 96.6% Were Criminal-based Law Enforcement Requests
As part of its commitment to be a trusted venue, Coinbase has released its first Transparency Report.
Much like other financial service providers and technology companies, Coinbase says it received requests from the law enforcement and government agencies seeking information and financial records in connection with civil, criminal, and other investigative matters in the form of subpoenas, search warrants, court orders, and other formal processes.
Because these requests are valid under the applicable laws, Coinbase must respond, wrote Paul Grewal, Chief Legal Officer at the San Francisco-based exchange, that currently serves over 38 million customers worldwide.
As per the report, the exchange received requests for information on 1,914 customers during the first six months of 2020. 58% of this request was from US agencies, and 16% was from state or local authorities like FBI, HSI, DEA, SEC, IRS, DOJ, and others.
Of the request, the majority, 96.6%, were criminal, while the rest was a civil or administrative type.
Overall, 90% of all requests came from just three jurisdictions — the US, UK, and Germany.
“Great to see this transparency from coinbase. After some controversy re: privacy, this is a strong step forward,” said Jake Chervinsky, General Counsel at Compound. “Also worth noting, this comes from new CLO Paul Grewal (who I still think of as Judge Grewal), an extremely well-respected tech lawyer & big asset to the company.”
Coinbase also noted in the report they have been pushing back when appropriate; back in late 2017, they won against IRS over customer policy.
“I hope they're pushing back on inappropriate gag orders as well,” said Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center, a DC-based crypto think tank.
“Glad to see Coinbase publishing a transparency report, joining companies like Kraken. Hopefully this becomes an industry standard,” he added.