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Coinbase Reports Threefold Surge in Law Enforcement Requests, Totalling 13,079 in 2023

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.

Coinbase Sees Spike in Agency Requests

Among the 13,079 requests made to COINBASE between Q4 2022 and Q3 2023, four countries – the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Spain – accounted for nearly three-quarters or 73% of the entire amount.

The United States led with 5,686 requests, a notable increase from the previous year’s 5,304, with 90.4% of these originating from criminal enforcement agencies. Germany secured the second position with 1,906, surpassing the United Kingdom, which experienced a slight decline to 1,401 requests.

Spain ranked fourth with 732 requests. Australia emerged in sixth place with a remarkable 262% surge in requests to Coinbase, reaching 453. Ukraine witnessed a more than threefold increase, while Portugal’s requests more than doubled, although these countries did not make it to the top 15.

Meanwhile, France also witnessed a significant rise in requests from 351 in 2022 to 535 in 2023.

It’s essential to note that these requests from government agencies and law enforcement in connection to civil, criminal, or other investigative matters include subpoenas, court orders, search warrants, and other formal legal processes. Coinbase emphasized its obligation to respond to these requests when valid under financial regulations and other relevant laws.

Coinbase further stated that it might contest government and law enforcement requests, and the decision to do so will depend on the specific details of each request. In certain situations, the exchange reserves the option to request the government or law enforcement agency to refine or limit the scope of their inquiry.

The latest development follows a global trend where law enforcement agencies are intensifying efforts to combat crypto-related criminal activities. Many of these agencies are strengthening their investigative units to track potentially unlawful digital asset transactions.

Harsh Conditions Fail to Deter Coinbase

Earlier this year, Coinbase announced its decision to double down on expansion and currently touts a network of 245,000 ecosystem partners spanning more than 100 countries. However, the San Francisco-based crypto giant was slapped with a lawsuit by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which accused it of selling unregistered securities. In response, Coinbase challenged the SEC’s jurisdiction in a court filing in October.

Despite the back-to-back regulatory blows, Coinbase outperformed its revenue forecasts, disclosing $674 million in the third quarter, which exceeded analysts’ previous predictions. This marked a 14.2% increase compared to the same period last year.

Coinbase’s recently launched Base has expanded to become one of Ethereum’s leading layer-2 networks, competing with already established names such as Arbitrum and Optimism.

In November, the company unveiled a new update to its Coinbase Commerce offering, built upon its recently introduced open-source Onchain Payment Protocol. The main objective of this update is to offer merchants and customers instant settlement, minimal fees, and extensive asset support to enhance the overall payment experience.


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