Bitcoin Data Not Covered By 4th Amendment, 5th Circ. Says

Law360 (July 1, 2020, 7:37 PM EDT) — Bitcoin users who use a virtual bank to complete their transactions have no more of an expectation of privacy than brick-and-mortar bank account holders, the Fifth Circuit ruled while rejecting a felon’s argument for evidence suppression in his child pornography case.

A three-judge Fifth Circuit panel ruled Tuesday that FBI agents who subpoenaed cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase for records of Richard Gratkowski’s payments to a child pornography website didn’t violate Gratkowski’s Fourth Amendment rights.

Like normal banks, Coinbase’s records provided the government agents with a limited amount of data about Gratkowski, the panel said, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous 1939 decision…

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