Kraken to Hand Over User Data to the IRS

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has begun informing its clients about a court ruling that compels them to hand over sensitive data to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This development comes after a legal battle initiated in May 2021, and a recent summons from the IRS, highlighting ongoing efforts by tax authorities to gain access to cryptocurrency transaction information.

Initially, the IRS requested a wide range of records and data pertaining to Kraken’s US clients, prompting Kraken to contest the demands, citing its commitment to safeguarding client privacy. The exchange engaged in a protracted legal process to challenge the IRS summons. 

While Kraken succeeded in reducing the number of affected clients, the court ultimately ordered the exchange to provide information and transaction histories for clients with transactions exceeding $20,000 in any single year from 2016 to 2020, marking a significant victory for the US government in obtaining data on cryptocurrency investors.

These efforts to collect historical data are amplified by recent proposals from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which aim to enhance data analysis, record-keeping, and reporting requirements for individual transaction history. 

Concerns are mounting regarding the extent of the data that tax authorities and other government agencies are compiling, which could have significant implications for the privacy of Bitcoin users, even those who avoid regulated or KYC-compliant services.

For Kraken clients affected by this court order, the exchange will have to provide the IRS with names, dates of birth, tax identification numbers, addresses, contact information, and transaction histories for the specified years. Kraken anticipates sharing this information with the IRS in early November 2023.

Information for this story was found via the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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