Leading global cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase recently released its Transparency Report, which showed a sharp rise in requests from governmental and law enforcement organizations.
The annual report indicates that there has been a 6% increase in requests since 2022. It’s interesting to note that there was a significant increase in the number of jurisdictions issuing requests as well — by 19.
The top four nations that accounted for nearly three-quarters (73%) of the 13,079 government requests for information that Coinbase received between Q4 2022 and Q4 2023 were Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The strong economies and stringent regulatory frameworks of these nations account for the huge volume of requests. However, these requests’ nature and implications can vary significantly, depending on the specific laws and regulations in each country.
On the list of nations that sent Coinbase the most requests, the United States was at the top. There have been 5,140 requests this year, indicating that US agencies are keeping a careful eye on cryptocurrency-related activity. The fact that criminal enforcement agencies accounted for a staggering 90.4% of all requests suggests that digital currency is becoming more accepted in criminal investigations and trials.
Germany trailed closely behind, switching places with the United Kingdom from the year before. Even though the nation’s 1,906 requests were less than those of the US, they nevertheless account for a sizable portion of all requests. In contrast, the United Kingdom experienced a small decrease in requests during the year, amounting to 1,401. Still, this was significantly more than Spain’s 732 requests, which came in fourth.
Interestingly, the study also showed a huge spike in requests from nations that are not often linked to high levels of cryptocurrency activity, despite the fact that the number of requests from these countries is significant. Australia ranked sixth with 453, sending 262% more queries to Coinbase than it did the year before. Although these countries were not among the top 15, Portugal and Ukraine also saw their requests more than double and triple, respectively.
The most surprising entries in the report came from Australia, Nigeria, Portugal, Romania, and Ukraine, where requests more than doubled in 2023. Even though these nations lack the economic clout of Germany, the UK , or the US, their growing interest in cryptocurrency activities shows how digital currency is revolutionizing the global financial system.
The reasons behind these increases may vary from country to country. For some, it could be a response to the growing prevalence of cybercrime related to cryptocurrency. For others, it could be a proactive measure to understand the implications of this emerging technology better. However, one element that seems to be common is the recognition of cryptocurrency’s increasing influence on the global economy.