Crypto exchange Coinbase published its fifth annual transparency report this week. With the report, the crypto exchange is shedding light on the number and nature of government and law enforcement requests for customer data that the company has received over the past year.
The report, covering the period from October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2023, reveals a modest 6% year-over-year increase in the number of requests. However, Coinbase emphasizes that the overall volume remains low compared to traditional finance players.
Coinbase Receives More International Requests
Roughly 57% of the 13,079 total requests originated from outside the United States, marking a slight uptick over the prior report. This reflects Coinbase’s expanding global user base as the exchange pushes into new markets across Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America under its “Go Broad, Go Deep” growth strategy.
The company called out increased law enforcement interest from several countries:
- Australia: 453 requests, up 262%
- Portugal: up 211%
- France: 535 requests, up 52%
Coinbase also reported receiving first-time requests from 19 countries, indicating the geographically widening reach of crypto-related investigations.
US Remains Top Source
Despite the growth abroad, the United States still accounted for the largest volume of requests by far. Together with Germany, the UK, and Spain, these four countries made up nearly 73% of all law enforcement data requests received by Coinbase.
- United States: 5140 requests
- Germany: 1,906 requests
- UK: 1,401 requests
- Spain: 732 requests
Mirroring past reports, Coinbase points out that the vast majority of requests globally relate to criminal investigations rather than civil matters.
While the company does not break down the types of crimes involved across jurisdictions, its US-specific data shows that fraud investigations make up the bulk of domestic law enforcement requests. This indicates authorities are continuing to grapple with crypto scams and hacking incidents victimizing Coinbase customers.
Coinbase emphasizes in the report that its transparency reporting is crucial for maintaining user trust. The company highlights its rigorous data privacy practices and notes that it takes care to narrowly respond to overly broad requests in order to safeguard customer confidentiality.
- Over 13,079 total requests, up 6%
- Majority from outside US, but US leads overall
- Fraud dominates US law enforcement requests
With the report, Coinbase seeks to provide customers with visibility into how it handles sensitive data while also complying with legal obligations.