Coinbase has just released its first-ever transparency report. The report provides insight into the number of requests for information that the exchange receives as well as how they handle what they call “legitimate requests” from the government. “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 noted in the statement.
Coinbase received a total of 1,914 government requests for customer data in the first half of 2020.
According to the official report, 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 in relation to criminal investigations, and 66 of those requests were about civil or administrative investigations. 90% of all requests came from the USA, the UK, and Germany, with the United States accounting for 58% of all requests coming from government agencies located in the USA. Of all the US agencies, the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, and the DEA filed the most requests for information, filing 340, 184, and 104 requests, respectively.
EFF called out Coinbase for its lack of transparency.
What may have prompted Coinbase to release a transparency report is that 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 argued that “Transparency reports are important tools for accountability for companies that make these important decisions,” and pointed out that Coinbase competitor Kraken recognized the importance of publishing transparency reports and has been doing so for a while now.