The U.S. Department of Treasury recently proposed regulations that would require cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase to collect and share with the government more personal information about you and the people you transact with. This is a big change and Treasury is not considering the impact it will have on you, our customers. That worries us.
We think this proposal represents too big of an intrusion on your privacy, and we want to make sure you know that you can voice your own concerns directly with the U.S. Department of Treasury by this Monday, January 4, 2021.
How this impacts you
The bottom line is that exchanges will need to collect the name and address for anyone that you send crypto or receive crypto from for any transaction worth over $3,000. That is a substantial intrusion into your privacy without good reason — and a significantly more onerous regulation than traditional financial institutions are held to. The proposed regulation wants crypto exchanges to collect and share with Treasury personal information associated with crypto transactions involving user controlled wallets (such as Coinbase Wallet). But because of the way crypto exchanges work, they may have to collect this additional information on all send and receive transactions that involve a crypto wallet they manage on your behalf and that are above the $3,000 threshold.
Why is this happening so quickly
Typically proposed regulations this significant come only after a long period of informal discussion with the industry and the public, which helps the government craft a fair rule that makes sense. Then the public gets at least 60 days to comment on the actual proposed rule. That’s not what happened here. We have had very little opportunity to discuss our concerns with the Treasury, and have been given just 15 days to share our concerns. Even worse, as the comment period began on the Friday before Christmas, we really have fewer than nine days to weigh in on this important regulation that could have long-lasting consequences for anyone that interacts with crypto. This is not how the process should work.
What you can do
If you share our concerns about the nature of this proposed rule and the rush to make it law, you can submit your comment using this online comment form. Here’s an example of what you can use or adapt in your own comment:
The proposed new rules impose unprecedented financial surveillance on many people like me who are participating in the crypto economy for legitimate purposes. The new requirements also mean that more personal financial information belonging to me and those I transact with will now be collected and retained by the government.
New regulation should only be made after a thorough and fair process, which involves feedback from industry experts and those that will be ultimately impacted. We view it as our obligation to you, and the entire crypto community, to encourage thoughtful comments and feedback about this proposed new rule which represents a rushed attempt to impose unnecessary new requirements on our industry and customers.
We’re proud to be the most trusted cryptocurrency platform and will continue to fight to ensure that your privacy rights are protected. We encourage you to voice your concerns directly with the U.S. Department of Treasury by this Monday, January 4, 2021.
was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.