On November 29, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dealt a partial blow to the U.S. Department of Justice and the IRS in connection with their collective efforts to enforce an expansive and overly broad “John Doe summons” request in relation to the customers of Coinbase Inc. (“Coinbase”). Coinbase is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States and the fourth largest in the world. The narrowed court order represents an important victory for Coinbase and its customers, and sets a generally favorable precedent for other cryptocurrency exchanges that may face similar informational requests in the future.

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