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Coinbase Transparency Report: Law Enforcement Requests Tripled in Three Years

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
Image Source: Pixabay

Coinbase has revealed a significant increase in law enforcement requests over the past years in its latest transparency report.

According to the report, the number of requests received by Coinbase this year has tripled compared to 2020.

Out of the 13,079 requests for information, nearly half of them originated from the United States. 

Germany accounted for 15% of the total requests, followed by the United Kingdom and Spain. 

The overwhelming majority, 96%, were related to criminal investigations, while the remaining requests pertained to civil or administrative matters.

In the report, Paul Grewal, Coinbase’s chief legal officer, emphasized the company’s commitment to providing an appropriate and tailored response to these requests. 

“Where necessary, we will seek to narrow requests that are overly broad or vague in order to provide a more appropriately tailored response, and in some cases we object to producing any information at all,” he said. 

Voluntary transparency reports have become customary among large tech companies, with Coinbase joining the ranks of Verizon, AT&T, Apple, and Google. 

Although Coinbase’s total number of requests marks a 6% increase from 2022, it pales in comparison to the staggering 127,766 requests received by Verizon in just the first half of this year.

For context, San Francisco-based crypto exchange Kraken reported 3,705 law enforcement requests in 2022, with the majority of requests originating from outside the United States. 

In 2023, Coinbase witnessed a threefold increase in requests from Ukraine. 

Additionally, government agencies in Australia, Portugal, Romania, and Nigeria more than doubled their requests, according to the report.

Coinbase Expands Global Presence Despite Regulatory Hurdles

Coinbase has been actively expanding its global presence.

Back in September, the exchange revealed that it has secured an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance registration from the Bank of Spain, making it a registered crypto exchange in the country.

The registration with the Bank of Spain allows Coinbase to offer its full suite of products and services to both retail and institutional users in Spain while ensuring compliance with the country’s legal framework.

Over the past year, Coinbase has obtained Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) registrations in several European countries, including Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands. 

It has also received in-principle approval and launched its services in Singapore, Brazil, and Canada.

The company’s push for global expansion comes amid growing regulatory hostility in the US.

Back in June, the SEC sued Coinbase for selling unregistered securities and a number of other alleged wrongdoings. 

The commission also accused the exchange of illegally running a range of financial services, including trading securities and failing to register as a securities exchange.

Following the SEC lawsuit, the largest US-based cryptocurrency exchange also received Show Cause orders from 11 US states, which requires Coinbase to justify why it shouldn’t cease operations in the states.