- Law enforcement requests sent to Kraken tripled in 2018
- Kraken has released a transparency report with statistics showing the number of requests they had to handle last year
- They have been receiving requests from different institutions and large agencies, making the process of responding difficult
There are many cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States. This has caused some authorities and government agencies to be concerned about cryptocurrency regulation. However, the interventions from different agencies make the country an unfriendly territory for those who want to build or expand their cryptocurrency businesses in the US. In line with these events, a San Francisco-based Bitcoin exchange called Kraken has released a transparency report with statistics showing that they’ve been receiving an increasing number of disclosure requests. These requests are particularly coming from U.S. law enforcement agencies and regulators.
Regulator interest keeps growing
Also known as Payward Inc., Kraken said it had received 475 law enforcement inquiries in 2018. The inquiries are from global government agencies and 315 of them are coming from the U.S. These numbers nearly tripled the number they have received in 2017.
While some may think that it’s not a huge number, Kraken argued that the requests are burdening them. Each request needs different details, therefore, it’s not simply a case of data handling but they still need to do the time-consuming process of writing a response in order to meet the request.
In a Twitter post, Kraken stated:
“You can see why many businesses choose to block U.S. users. Cost of handling subpoenas (regardless of licenses) is quickly becoming a barrier to entry.”
Striking a balance
The firm with the largest number of requests is the Department of Homeland Security investigation arm, which had 91 inquiries in total. Following Homeland Security is FBI with 67 requests. They are also receiving requests from the Internal Revenue Service, Drug Enforcement Agency, the Department of Justice, and Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Next to the United States, the United Kingdom has also been getting a lot of requests followed by territories such as Denmark and France.
US agencies are tightening their controls in order to keep citizens safe and avoid international crimes like money laundering or terrorist operations. In line with this, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to regulate this industry to see to it that the consumers avoid fraud and can trust companies they invest in. The downside of this progress is that too much oversight could also prevent innovation.