Coinbase has released its annual transparency report for the year 2022, which includes data that indicates law enforcement agencies around the world have started to pay more attention to the cryptosphere. The popular crypto exchange saw requests from global investigative agencies rise by 66 percent, taking the annual figure to 12,320. The US topped Coinbase’s list for seeking most information around suspicious crypto transactions from the exchange this year. From India, Coinbase recorded 44 requests from the authorities.
While authorities in the US made 5,304 requests for information from Coinbase, the UK ranked second with 1,744 queries between the period of October 2021 and September 2022, as per the report.
“Coinbase currently serves more than 108 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 formal legal process,” the exchange wrote in its transparency report.
Other nations that reached out to Coinbase for details on fishy crypto activities constituted 57 percent of global requests.
Argentina, Brazil, China, and Taiwan were among 21 nations where authorities reached out to Coinbase for the first time in 2022
“Six countries increased their number of law enforcement and agency requests by over 100 percent: Spain (+940 percent), Belgium (+400 percent), Italy (+281 percent), Netherlands (+163 percent), Austria (+141 percent), and Ireland (+118 percent). 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,” the report further noted.
For what its worth, crypto investors may be relived to know that authorities from so many nations are monitoring the sector closely.
Several nations have repeatedly expressed concerns about how often crypto assets are misused by criminals for laundering illicit funds across borders.
In addition, crypto-related scams also rose significantly this year. Chainalysis, in a report two months ago, said that the month of October this has been the worst in terms of crypto crimes, with losses of over $718 million (roughly Rs. 5,890 crore) recorded that month.
In light of these crimes picking up pace, the US government issued sanctions against privacy mixer tools like Tornado Cash, that were being used by crypto criminals to deposit their stolen funds into anonymous accounts.
Nearly 10 percent of all funds sent from illicit addresses are sent to mixers, a report by Chainalysis had attested earlier this year.
In a bid to help law enforcement agencies understand the intricacies of the crypto world, crypto players have been bringing initiatives tailored to suit the task.
Binance for instance, launched the ‘Global Law Enforcement Training Programme’ in September, aiming to help police officers globally, understand how Web3 technology and the blockchain work.