Since last October Coinbase is making available to all public a transparency report that shows the quantity and type of customer information requests Coinbase received from government agencies and law enforcement.
This sort of data disclosure in a voluntary fashion is relatively new to the crypto industry and definitely not common in the world of finance.
The first edition of said report was made public on Oct 16th last year, and covered the period from Jan 1 to June 30 2020. The second edition was made public on May 5th and covers the period July 1 to Dec 31st 2020.
Coinbase is Helping Governments With Law Enforcement
This newly edition confirms that the second half of last year kept consistency with the first, inferring that for 2020 the majority of government’s inquiries on customer data came from criminal investigations authorities.
During 2020 Coinbase had a total 4,227 information requests, from these only 165 were civil or administrative concerns. Yet, it is deductible that civil authority requests are increasing by observing the sound rise between the first and the second half, from 66 to 99 requests.
Civil authorities are getting more interested in crypto activities lately.
The Biden administration is currently reformulating the US tax system in an attempt to grab its portion of the wealth in the crypto industry. The IRS has been involved in fiscalizing crypto exchanges more aggressively recently.
Interest is Predominantly Criminal
Though tributary and other administrative concerns are on the rise, still more than 90% of inquiries received at Coinbase were submitted by criminal authorities.
The majority of U.S. law enforcement information requests came from the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and the HSI (Homeland Security Investigations)
The two reports on 2020 combined also provide the geographical origins of the authority-related requests. Even though inquiries from France increased in ~20% from H1 to H2, three nations: United States, United Kingdom, and Germany lead the charts in amount of inquiries on Coinbase user activity.
These three economy powers combined, represent approximately 90% of all the requests received by Coinbase worldwide.