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Are Bitcoin holders really as anonymous as they think?

03 August 2017 21:00, UTC

One of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges of them all, Bitcoin.de, is disclosing customer information without required warrants, Bitcoin.com reports, citing German regional media outlets.

As the recent publication on Motherboard described, the German police has had an easy access to the confidential data of the exchange’s clients. This info includes the client’s Bitcoin wallet number, his name and email, the location from where his deposits were opened, IP address and transaction history. The necessity of data sharing like this is usually being justified by telling that the circulation of illegal goods on the darknet markets must be ended, but the users are not pleased with this, explaining that before this measure was taken, their data was not put in jeopardy.

Bitcoin.de, in turn, stated that the company’s actions are legally justified and once again made clear that the company is in reliable cooperation with different administrative authorities. However, there is another opinion on what is legal here and what is not: for example, Johannes Caspar, a professor and data security expert from Hamburg, argues that such information can be shared only by the specific request from court or prosecutors, but there is no legal obligation to give data to police.