After an extensive battle against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States, will have to deliver personal information of around 13,000 of its users that used the platform to exchange cryptocurrencies.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued a document in which it orders Coinbase to deliver the social security numbers, names, dates of birth, addresses, activity records (including transaction records containing the date, amount and type of transaction), as well as all the account balances of around 13,000 users selected by the IRS.
The clients targeted by the IRS are the ones who exchanged cryptocurrencies worth 20,000 US dollars or more in any type of transaction (purchase, sale, send or receive) in the period between 2013 and 2015.
Initially, the IRS requested information about 500,000 Coinbase users, but this request was denied after an appeal filed by the cryptocurrency exchange and the number was reduced to around 13,000 people. Coinbase sent a message to the affected users a few days ago informing them about the order to deliver their personal data. The message warned the involved users to contract a lawyer to help them manage the situation, since the information requested by the IRS will be delivered in the next 21 days.
The message explains the entire procedure and provides advice for the clients: “In December 2016, the Internal Revenue Service issued a summons demanding that Coinbase produce a wide range of records relating to approximately 500,000 Coinbase customers. Coinbase fought this summons in court in an effort to protect its customers, and the industry as a whole, from unwarranted intrusions from the government.
After a long process, the court issued an order that represents a partial, but still significant, victory for Coinbase and its customers: the order requires Coinbase to produce only certain limited categories of information from the accounts of approximately 13,000 customers.
We are writing to let you know that the above-described court order requires us to produce information specific to your account. If you have concerns about this, we encourage you to seek legal advice from an attorney promptly. Coinbase expects to produce the information covered by the court’s order within 21 days.”
The IRS started a legal process against Coinbase at the end of November, 2016. Coinbase was requested to deliver the transaction records of all its US clients. After months of appeals before the court, the aforementioned final order has been issued.