The US-based crypto exchange Coinbase has seen a 66% increase in requests from law enforcement this year compared to last year, a new report has revealed.
According to the report, published by Coinbase, the rise this year pushed the total number of requests received this year to 12,320, with 57% of the requests coming from outside of the United States.
From the US alone, 5,304 requests were sent from law enforcement agencies to Coinbase. Coming in second was the UK with 1,744 requests, followed by Germany with 1,668 requests, and Spain with 1,304 requests.
In total, approximately 80% of all law enforcement requests came from these four countries, the Coinbase report said.
The exchange further pointed to Spain as the country that it has seen the largest increase in requests over the reporting period. The number of requests from the country jumped 940% compared to last year’s report, far more than Belgium, which came in second with its 400% increase.
Like during previous years, the overwhelming majority – 95.3% – of requests were made in relation to criminal enforcement matters, while only 4.7% were based on civil or administrative matters.
It’s worth noting that although the number of requests this year was more than double of what was reported last year, the reporting periods differed slightly. According to Coinbase, its report last year covered only nine months, while this year’s report covered the whole year.
Coinbase serves more than 108m customers worldwide. The company regularly receives requests, including subpoenas, court orders, and search warrants, from governments around the world. As a regulated company in the US, Coinbase says it has an obligation to respond to these requests if they are deemed valid.
Coinbase stressed in the report that each request it receives is “carefully reviewed” by trained experts who use established procedures.
“Where necessary, we will seek to narrow requests that are overly broad or vague to provide a more appropriately tailored response,” the exchange added.