Coinbase, leading bitcoin wallet and exchange with over 3.8 million registered wallets and 2.4 million users, has had many complaints and serious issues about compliance, regulations and manipulation of accounts over the last few months.
This week, an anonymous source revealed that Coinbase is currently a part of a regulatory compliance program which requires users to give sensitive information to deposit or withdraw into a Coinbase account. The Coinbase team said in an email:
“As a part of our compliance program, we are required to periodically review high volume accounts. As a regulated financial institution, we have the responsibility of understanding how our customers are using our service. We therefore respectfully request that you help us complete this routine review by providing the following information:
- Use for your Coinbase account
- Description of the origin of incoming transfers
- Detail the specific source of funds for the purchase of bitcoin
- Nature of outgoing service.”
Banks require basic personal information like name, age, net worth, annual income, properties, etc. However, banks do not demand each customers to identify the source or the origin of payments in every withdrawal or deposits.
Sensitive information gathered by Coinbase, like the source of payments, purpose of accounts and outgoing payments will then be submitted to the government agencies or law enforcement that require it, to practically spy on its users, especially, the holders of high volume accounts.
Still, Coinbase claims that they “take privacy and security very seriously.”
Apart from the requirement of these information, Coinbase offers its users Dropbox for “secure communication upon request.”
Dropbox, known for their solid connection with the government and “Dropbox’s Government Data Request Principles,” provides any government agencies or law enforcement with data, sensitive or not.
Despite the obvious security concerns of Dropbox, Coinbase will continue to offer Dropbox as the main data storage for its customers, and emphasize that the firm “take privacy and security very seriously.”