In a blog post dated 18 January 2019, the popular cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift noted its involvement in law enforcement. The blog captured that a sizeable number of inquiries were from the US.
In total, ShapeShift addressed 60 varied inquiries from different law bodies. Apart from the US, Germany, France and the UK were the other countries actively seeking information.
The Federal Bureau Of Investigation(FBI) and the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) were the two prominent bodies that proactively sought user details from ShapeShift. The blog headlined through an infographic, that November was the period for intense subpoena requests(a compelling request to take action).
As cited by ShapeShift, the process of gathering information starts off when agencies believe that they have sufficient evidence and documentation that could aid a cryptocurrency investigation. Often the victims of a crypto crime, trace a link to ShapeShift wallet.
“When we receive these requests, we usually don’t know anything about the details of the investigations or what the information is being used for, just what information is required by the subpoena.”
ShapeShift further went on to say about the level of confidentiality involved with such investigations. The details or clauses of such inquiries are to be kept in strict secrecy and not divulged to any third parties.
The diversity in the nature of inquiries made by legal bodies was emphasized by the blog. While the most common personal details accessed were names, cryptocurrency addresses, emails, transaction-related details, and IP addresses, some advanced mode of snooping required digital asset portfolio of targeted users.
ShapeShift confirmed that it has positively addressed each of the requests that it received last year. It declared the time frame that would be required to effectively cater to the requests is between one to two weeks.
ShapeShift has backed its move and wants to leave no doubt that this is the typical way that the cryptocurrency industry operates. It substantiated that considering the user volumes and number of transactions, legal implications sometimes do kick in.
In the end, ShapeShift took a stance that the number of requests received was neither a large nor intriguing. It quoted an example wherein a crypto fund was penalized with a subpoena and the retort was that every crypto fund they had interacted with were charged with the same.
In the arena of the highly profitable domain of cryptocurrencies, we will definitely have perpetrators looking to make an easy gain. There have been incidents where human life is at risk for crypto gain. ShapeShift’s amity to cooperate with the law and book offenders is commendable.