Last Updated on December 17, 2023 by Ameer Hamza
The largest US-based crypto exchange experienced a threefold increase in law enforcement requests in the current year compared to 2020, as revealed in its latest transparency report.
The total number of requests during the reporting period amounted to 13,079, marking approximately a 6% rise from the previous year. Notably, the United States maintained its position as the leading country in both 2022 and 2023, with a slight uptick in the number of requests in 2023.
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Four countries – the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Spain – accounted for roughly three-quarters, or 73%, of the 13,079 requests that the exchange received between Q4 2022 and Q3 2023.
With 5,686 requests—a significant rise from 5,304 the year before—the United States was in the lead, with 90.4% of the demands coming from law enforcement. With 1,906 inquiries, Germany took second place ahead of the United Kingdom, which saw a modest decrease to 1,401 requests.
Spain had 732 requests, ranking fourth. Australia ranked sixth after a noteworthy 262% increase in queries to Coinbase, totaling 453. While Portugal’s demands more than doubled and Ukraine’s more than tripled, these countries were not included in the top 15.
In the meantime, demands increased significantly in France as well, going from 351 in 2022 to 535 in 2023.
It is important to remember that subpoenas, court orders, search warrants, and other official legal procedures are examples of the requests that law enforcement and government agencies may make in relation to criminal, civil, or other investigative matters. The crypto exchange stressed that it is required by financial regulations and other applicable laws to reply to these requests.
The exchange added that, depending on the particulars of each request, it may choose to challenge requests from the government and law enforcement. The exchange retains the right, in certain circumstances, to ask the authorities to narrow or clarify the scope of their investigation.
The most recent development is in line with a global trend in which law enforcement agencies are stepping up their efforts to end illegal activity related to crypto. In order to monitor possibly illegal activities involving digital assets, many of these organizations are bolstering their investigative divisions.
Coinbase’s significant rise in requests from law enforcement suggests that there is more attention being paid to crypto activity, especially in the US. The increase, which is indicative of a global trend, highlights the increased efforts made by authorities to stop illegal activity related to cryptocurrencies. The crypto exchange’s dedication to handling these requests within the bounds of the law, as well as its ability to challenge or clarify questions, emphasizes how difficult it is to reconcile regulatory control with the rapidly developing field of blockchain technology.