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Coinbase chief ‘sorry’ for ominous email demanding bank statements

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Coinbase chief Brian Armstrong has apologized to former Bitcoin dev Gavin Andresen after a number of complaints about the crypto exchange’s demands for bank statements to keep accounts open.

On Tuesday, Andresen tweeted about Coinbase asking for three months’ worth of his banking history. He tagged his comment with #invasionofprivacy.

Armstrong’s response? “Sorry about that!”

But others who’d received the same email were equally confused.

“Wait, was that email request actually legit? I and several others who received it thought it was phishing as it requested the uploading of docs to some weird non-Coinbase domain,” tweeted @iamDCinvestor.

Ethereum community member @evan_van_ness agreed. They thought it was a “very sophisticated phishing attempt” until he confirmed the email was real with a Coinbase employee.

Armstrong’s chipper apology echoed the official Coinbase customer support response: “Hey Gavin, we’re sorry to hear you’re having some difficulties with your account. We’d be more than happy to take a look and see what’s going on.

“Could you please send us a DM so we can work with you to get this resolved? Thanks!”

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Twitter user @ColinTCrypto uploaded a copy of what they claim was the email, calling it privacy-violating.

A few hours later, Andresen posted to confirm Coinbase had “decided they had enough information about me, case closed,” implying that the policy had been waived.

“But I still don’t know why they [Coinbase] wanted bank statements. Do they really need to know three months of details in my personal banking activity?”

Coinbase: Gobbling bank statements is just how it works

According to Coinbase’s own terms and conditions, the company:

“…may request that you submit additional information about yourself or your business, provide relevant records, and arrange for meetings with Coinbase staff so that Coinbase may, among other things, establish the source of your wealth and source of funds for any transactions carried out in the course of your use of Coinbase Services.”

But for Andresen and many others, Coinbase’s ongoing requirement for more personal information, particularly bank history, is taking things too far.

This is especially so considering the political noise surrounding cryptocurrency’s potential for evading sanctions.

Crypto investor @ScottByrd said: “… they are demanding proof of source of funds. I have no idea how to comply with them. They will not even communicate with me on this.”

And @armadilloxbt ominously asked: “I imagine not their fault, just trying to be compliant … What happens when your ID is not enough and they freeze your funds when you need them.”

Crypto investors share war stories of navigating Coinbase compliance.

Read more: [Coinbase won’t ban Russian crypto traders but strangely bans Crimea]

Protos contacted Coinbase to find out why there were so many complaints suddenly about its three-month bank statement policy, and whether its policy had changed.

A spokesperson said (our emphasis): “To ensure that new and existing customers are verified and to ensure that Coinbase is complying with financial regulations, we periodically ask them to complete basic ID verification.”

Looks like Coinbase users better get used to it.

‘Regular’ Coinbase users haven’t been as lucky as Gavin Andresen.

Follow us on Twitter for more informed news.

Out now: the first three episodes of our new investigative podcast series Innovated: Blockchain City.

The post Coinbase chief ‘sorry’ for ominous email demanding bank statements appeared first on Protos.

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