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Coinbase ordered to turn over customer records to IRS

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A federal district court in California this week blew away one of the major factors in the explosive growth and popularity of Bitcoin and its hundreds of cryptocurrency colleagues: the promise of anonymity.

The court ordered Coinbase, a popular cryptocurrency exchange and wallet service, to turn over three years worth of identifying records on more than 14,000 of its customers to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), concluding a year-long battle over whether the tax agency could pierce the cryptocurrency anonymity veil.

The IRS didn’t get everything it had asked for a year ago, which included detailed information on any US persons who, “at any time during the period January 1 2013, through December 31 2015, conducted transactions in a convertible virtual currency as defined in IRS Notice 2014-21.”

After Coinbase refused to comply, calling the demand “indiscriminate and over broad,” and even some members of Congress complained that the summons could affect as many as 500,000...(continued)

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