Written by 12:35 am Cryptocurrency

Coinbase: Info Requests Up 66% from Last Year

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is fielding more information requests from government agencies and law enforcement. 

The firm said Monday (Dec. 12) in a blog post that it received 12,320 requests between Oct. 1, 2021, and Sept. 30, 2022 — a figure that was 66% higher than it was the year before. 

“As crypto adoption continues to grow, we have seen a corresponding increase in the number of law enforcement and agency requests,” Coinbase said in the post, which summarizes findings from its Transparency Report 2022. 

These requests include subpoenas, court orders, search warrants and other formal legal processes that generally seek customer account information and financial records in connection with civil, criminal or other investigations, according to the blog post. 

During the year covered by Coinbase’s latest Transparency Report, 80% of the information requests came from four countries — the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain — and 57% of all requests came from outside the U.S., the post said. 

“As in years past, the overwhelming majority of requests we received both globally and in the U.S. were from law enforcement agencies in connection with criminal enforcement matters,” Coinbase said. 

Globally, 95.3% of the requests were on criminal matters, while only 4.7% were civil or administrative. In the U.S., 89.3% were for federal, state or local criminal investigations, while just 10.7% were for federal, state or local civil purposes. 

Coinbase said that it now serves 108 million customers worldwide. 

The company added that it reviews requests before providing data, seeks to narrow requests that are overly broad or vague, objects to producing any information at all in some cases, and aims to provide anonymized or aggregated data when possible. 

“We are committed to protecting our customers, by safeguarding both the assets they entrust to us and their financial privacy,” Coinbase said. “We are also committed to aiding the critical role of law enforcement and government agencies in pursuing bad actors who engage in prohibited activity or seek to abuse our platform.” 

PYMNTS research has found that consumers’ growing interest in cryptocurrency also means more opportunities for scammers. 

Growth in digital fraud is nothing new, but cryptocurrency fraud is unique by virtue of the combination of technologies and irreversibility involved in most protocols, according to the “Digital Fraud Tracker,” a PYMNTS and Datavisor collaboration. 

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