US-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken reported that the number of law enforcement requests it received in 2018 was three times that of 2017.
The infographic data shared by the exchange cites a total of 475 such requests last year, with a significant majority (315) coming from the US government despite the exchange also operating in Canada, the European Union, and Japan.
The Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was responsible for the largest number of US government requests with a total of 91, followed by 67 subpoenas issued by the FBI, and 40 information requests from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Kraken wrote on Twitter, ”You can see why so many businesses choose to block US users,” noting that the costs of dealing with such law enforcement requests are ”quickly becoming a barrier to entry.”
Peek at our Compliance team’s 2018 Transparency Report. You can see why many businesses choose to block US users. Cost of handling subpoenas (regardless of licenses) is quickly becoming a barrier to entry. Inquiries up 3x YoY. pic.twitter.com/YbyLEqhOUf
— Kraken Exchange (@krakenfx) January 5, 2019
While the US Securities and Exchange commision (SEC) made its fair share of headlines last year after cracking down on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and on cryptocurrency generally, Kraken’s data shows that there are at least 11 different government agencies directly involved with governing the industry.
The UK was responsible for the second largest number of requests to Kraken, totaling 61, followed by Denmark with 34. Kraken did not share whether the number of requests from law enforcement was at all correlated with the levels of use of the cryptocurrency exchange in each of the countries.
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