New York’s Attorney General (AG) Eric Schneiderman asked a number of cryptocurrency exchanges to turn over corporate data last month. While some exchanges like Kraken told him to basically get stuffed, Coinbase has agreed to the request.
In a public response to the request, and perhaps as a means of saving face, Coinbase said, “We applaud the [Office of the Attorney General] for taking action to bring further transparency to the virtual currency markets.” The response is part of a five-page letter penned by the exchange’s chief legal and risk officer, Mike Lempres, who further detailed the $150 billion in assets held by the company, as well as its received funding of $225 million and its financial position, which he describes as “a profitable and self-sustaining business.”
Schneiderman, who has never been an ally to the cryptocurrency industry, sent a request to 13 exchanges in April that demanded information on 32 separate points. He solicited information about their operations, their leadership, privacy, funding and relationships with other financial institutions, and much more. As any power-branding zealot would do, he only gave the exchanges two weeks to comply.
Coinbase’s letter further details its involvement with law enforcement and regulatory agencies around the world, its system upgrades (which, according to Lempres, helped the platform maintain 99.99% uptime in April) and Coinbase’s “state of the art” cybersecurity program. Lepres also stated that the company is a federally-regulated money service and currently holds licenses to operate in 31 states, including in New York with its BitLicense.
Coinbase may have reported “99.99% uptime” for April, but it wasn’t without issues in the month. From April 12 to April 16, users reported not receiving email confirmations for instant purchases, a glitch that Coinbase subsequently corrected. On April 2, purchases using the exchange’s Xfers payment method were unavailable for about four hours, but no sells were apparently affected.
The public version of the information provided is a watered-down version of what was presented to Schneiderman per a request by Lempres made from the start. Lempres had requested “confidential treatment” to the entire response, delivered to the AG via Coinbase’s own “encrypted end-to-end secure file exchange service consistent with our security protocol.”