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Transparency Report 2023

Tl;dr: We are proud to present our fifth annual Transparency Report. Our goal with the Transparency Report is to provide customers with data about requests for their information that we receive from government agencies and law enforcement. We also intend to provide some insight into law enforcement and regulatory trends around the world.

By Paul Grewal

Company

, November 29, 2023

, 3min read time

Coinbase Blog

This report covers the period from October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023. Last year’s report can be found here.

As momentum for crypto builds globally and Coinbase executes on Phase II of our “Go Broad, Go Deep” strategy for international expansion, we increasingly see more requests coming from jurisdictions across the world. Although these requests have increased by ~ 6% y-on-y, we saw requests from 19 new jurisdictions in this reporting period.

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Transparency Report

Overview: With 245,000 ecosystem partners in over 100 countries, Coinbase has grown its products and services globally, including in the areas of derivatives and layer 2 solutions. We have obtained new licenses that enable us to access new markets and deliver new products. As we expand in our scale and breadth, we continue to regularly receive and respond to requests from government agencies and law enforcement in connection with civil, criminal, or other investigative matters. These requests include subpoenas, court orders, search warrants, and other formal legal processes. Our obligation is to respond to these requests if they are valid under financial regulations and other applicable laws.

This transparency report underscores a critical balance: the safeguarding of our customers' privacy while complying with our obligations under the law. We understand that privacy is a cornerstone of the economic freedom and security that our customers entrust us with. It is with this understanding that we implement rigorous privacy practices, ensuring that our customer information is consistently treated with care and confidentiality. 

We believe transparency is the foundation of trust. By openly sharing the information in this report, we reaffirm our commitment to earning and maintaining the trust of our customers, partners, and the communities we serve. 

Each request we receive is carefully reviewed by a team of trained experts using established procedures to determine its legal sufficiency. 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 (such as if the request is legally insufficient). We also aim to provide anonymized or aggregated data that aids law enforcement and government agencies with their work, where it is possible to do so, instead of providing individual customer information. 

The charts below provide data on the number of requests we received this past year (per the above, note that this data reflects the requests received, not necessarily requests responded to).

Key Takeaways:

  • There were a total of 13,079 requests during the reporting period, a ~6% increase over last year’s report.

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  • The ~57% of requests from outside of the United States was a ~6% increase over our previous report. In addition, 19 Countries sent requests for the first time in 2023, including: Armenia (11), Cameroon (8), Costa Rica (6), Colombia (3), Moldova (3), Côte d'Ivoire (2), New Caledonia (2), Pakistan (2), Sri Lanka (2).

  • ~73% of law enforcement requests were from the U.S., Germany, U.K. and Spain. 

  • United States: Remained the top country with the highest number of requests in both 2022 and 2023, with a slight increase in 2023.

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  • Requests from Australia (+262%) and Portugal (+211%) grew very substantially in the reporting period .

  • UK: Although it had a decrease in requests (from 1,744 in 2022 to 1,415 in 2023), it remains among the top requesting countries.

  • Australia: Notable increase in requests, going from 125 in 2022 to 453 in 2023.

  • France: Saw a significant rise in requests from 351 in 2022 to 535 in 2023.

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  • As in years past, the overwhelming majority of requests we received both globally and in the U.S. were from law enforcement agencies in connection with criminal enforcement matters. 

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FAQs: Does this report include data about requests received by all Coinbase entities/services?

This report includes data about requests related to our various products and services including coinbase.com, coinbase.com/exchange, coinbase.com/prime, and custody.coinbase.com.

What does it mean if my country is not listed on the report?

We only include countries where (i) our services are available, and/or (ii) Coinbase 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 given country to request the 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?

Depending on the nature and scope of the request, Coinbase may produce certain customer information, such as name, recent login/logout IP address, and payment information; this type of information may be subject to requests by government and law enforcement agencies when a customer uses one of our applications or our website, as described in our privacy policy.

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 their request.

Who reviews government requests for user information at Coinbase?

Coinbase has a trained team of lawyers, analysts, and other experts who review and evaluate each government and law enforcement request individually to assess its legal sufficiency and determine an 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’s systems.

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Paul Grewal

About Paul Grewal

Paul Grewal is the Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase where he is responsible for Coinbase’s legal, compliance, global intelligence, risk management and government relations groups. Before joining Coinbase, Paul was Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Facebook. Prior to Facebook, Paul served as United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of California. Paul was previously a partner at Howrey LLP, where his practice focused on intellectual property litigation. Paul served as a law clerk to Federal Circuit Judge Arthur J. Gajarsa and United States District Judge Sam H. Bell. He received his JD from the University of Chicago Law School and his BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.