Kraken Receives 50% More Law Enforcement Data Requests in 2019

Digital currency exchange Kraken has stated the expense of responding to law enforcement demands for user information is increasingly rising yearly. 

In a tweet on January 6, the company posted an infographic for its new 2019 Transparency Report, showing it had gotten 710 information requests altogether—49 percent more than the previous year. In 2018, the exchange got 475 requests, and only 160 were received in 2017.

The nation giving most requests in 2019 was the U.S. with 432 (around 61 percent of the requests). The FBI gives most requests of the U.S. offices, followed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The U.K. was the second country when it comes to request volume, with 86 (12 %), followed by Germany with 44 requests and Italy with 20 requests.

Further showed in the infographic, of 1,222 client accounts impacted by requests, 62 percent had information come back to the issuing agency. The other 28 percent were “non-valid,” which means they “did not meet local legal requirements” or Kraken’s guideline on law enforcement requests.

Kraken co-founder and CEO Jesse Powell stated in a tweet the expense of servicing such law enforcement demands in a “high-wage market” (the company is based in California) was over $1 million last year.

“Several things contribute to the cost. Older business with more than eight years of data, millions of accounts, high security around accessibility of personal data, the good stuff is all encrypted and hard/slow/impossible to search/export in bulk (upside being its that way for hackers too),” he stated in another post.