Coinbase Transparency Report – Q1 & Q3, 2021
Written by Paul Grewal, Chief Legal Officer
Coinbase is proud to publish our third Transparency Report. This report covers the period from January 1 to September 30, 2021*. As Coinbase continues to grow and provide services in new markets, the number of legitimate information requests we receive from law enforcement and other government agencies will increase accordingly. As such, going forward, we will publish these reports on an annual basis.
The goal of these reports, which we began publishing in 2020 (our previous reports can be found here and here), is to keep our customers informed about requests for customer information we receive from government agencies and law enforcement – how many reports we’ve received, where they come from and our approach to responding for them. While transparency reports are common in the tech industry, we believe that similarly financial institutions should publish these reports on a regular basis, and we encourage them to do so.
At Coinbase, the safety of our customers is very important to us, and we respect the primary role of law enforcement and government agencies in prosecuting bad actors who engage in prohibited activity or seek to misuse our platform. At the same time, protecting the financial privacy of our customers is an essential part of our commitment to being the most trusted place to transact cryptocurrency. This report shares data regarding requests for information Coinbase receives from government and law enforcement agencies around the world, and provides an overview of how government policies and procedures intersect with customer privacy.
Coinbase Transparency Report
Period: January 1, 2021 – September 30, 2021
Coinbase currently serves more than 73 million customers worldwide. We regularly receive and respond to requests from law enforcement and government agencies seeking customer account information and financial records in connection with civil, criminal, or other investigative matters. These requests can include subpoenas, court orders, search warrants, or other forms of formal legal process. We are obligated to respond to such requests if they are valid under financial regulations and other applicable laws.
Each application is carefully reviewed by a team of trained experts using established procedures to determine its legal adequacy; When necessary, we will narrow down or reject requests that appear excessively loose or vague. The charts below provide data on how many requests we’ve received and how we’ve responded to them, broken down by country. As we continue to enhance our operations, we will publish this report annually, subject to certain limitations.
The main takeaway:
- There were a total of 5,562 applications in the first three quarters of 2021, and 51% of applications came from outside the United States.
- About 84% of orders come from the US, UK and Germany.
- Countries that submitted applications for the first time in 2021 include Latvia, Greece, India, Turkey, Bosnia, Hungary and Russia.
- The number of orders we received in the first three quarters of this year represented a roughly 27% increase over the total number of orders we received in all of 2020.
questions and answers:
Does this report include data on orders received by all Coinbase entities/services?
This report includes data about orders related to our various products and services including coinbase.com, coinbase.com/exchange, coinbase.com/prime and custody.coinbase.com.
What does it mean that my country is not included in the report?
We only list countries where (i) our services are available, and/or (ii) Coinbase has received a government or law enforcement request.
What is a government information request?
A variety of laws allow the government and law enforcement agencies of a particular country to require disclosure of customer information for civil, administrative, criminal, and national security purposes, including as part of an investigation.
What information does Coinbase provide in response to government and law enforcement requests?
Before we consider disclosing information in response to a government or law enforcement request (such as a subpoena, court order, or similar legal process), we review each request on an individual basis. If we believe a request is broad or ambiguous, we seek to narrow it down and provide a more appropriate response, and in some cases object to providing any information at all (eg if the request is legally insufficient).
Does Coinbase Challenge or Reject Government Requests?
Coinbase may challenge government and law enforcement requests, depending on the particular circumstances of each request. Under certain circumstances, we may ask the government or law enforcement agency to narrow the scope of their request.
Who reviews government requests for user information on Coinbase?
Coinbase has a trained team of lawyers, analysts, and other experts who individually review and evaluate each government and law enforcement application to assess its legal adequacy and determine the appropriate response.
Does Coinbase provide governments with direct access to customer information?
Coinbase does not give any government in any jurisdiction (including law enforcement or other government agencies) direct access to customer information on our or any third-party systems.
* The remaining data from 2021 will be recorded in our next report, which will be published in 2022.
(2) Coinbase receives numerous criminal, civil and administrative requests from regulators and agencies in various countries for information about specific accounts and transactions. This Transparency Report reflects data relating to these requests; It does not include requests initiated by customers for information or products requested as part of routine regulatory checks.
Coinbase Transparency Report – Q1 & Q3 2021 Originally Posted on the Coinbase Blog on Medium, people continue the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.