20 October 2020
One of the prominent crypto exchange Coinbase has released its first-ever transparency report. The report shows the details regarding the number of requests for information that the exchange receives as well as how they handle what they call “legitimate requests” from the government. The Coinbase in the statement said, “As a financial institution with a duty to detect and prevent prohibited activity on its platform, we respect the legitimate interests of government authorities in pursuing bad actors who abuse others and our platform.”
The Coinbase insights show, from Jan 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020, Coinbase received a total of 1,914 government requests for customer data, and 1,848 of those requests were concerning criminal investigations, and 66 of those requests were about civil or administrative investigations. The USA, UK, and Germany accomplish 90% of all the requests, and the US holds 58% of all requests coming from government agencies located in the USA. FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, and the DEA filed the most requests for information with the filing of 340, 184, and 104 requests.
The Coinbase decision to release a transparency report may be caused by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called-out the crypto exchange last month in an article titled, “It’s Past Time for Coinbase to Issue Transparency Reports” for their lack of transparency. The EFF article stated, “Transparency reports are important tools for accountability for companies that make these important decisions.” The article also highlighted that Coinbase competitor Kraken knows the importance of releasing transparency reports and has been doing so for a while now.