Bitcoin Privacy USA Anonymity Government Transactions Coinbase Identity

Bitcoin Anonymity Over? United States Government Seeks Identity, Transaction Records of Coinbase Users

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The U.S. government is seeking the identity of Coinbase users for tax purposes, sparking fears that Bitcoin’s anonymity may be compromised. According to a legal summons filed in the Northern California District Court, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seeks to identify several Coinbase users and their financial activity, based on evidence that they may have violated U.S. tax laws: “Based upon a review of the petition and supporting documents, the Court has determined that the “John Doe” summons to Coinbase, Inc. relates to the investigation of an ascertainable group or class of persons, that there is a reasonable basis for believing that such group or class of persons has failed or may have failed to comply with any provision of any internal revenue laws, and that the information sought to be obtained from the examination of the records or testimony (and the identities of the persons with respect to whose liability the summons is issued) are not readily available from other sources.” As indicated by the summons, two things are clear: one, the IRS has tracked Bitcoin-related activity sufficiently to be able to determine that certain users may not be in compliance with tax law, and two, this activity …