Find Out What Those Crypto Exchanges Are Really Doing With Your Data

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For many of its enthusiasts, Bitcoin offers a genuine alternative to the traditional financial system. It’s free from centralized control, censorship resistance, and, as long as you know what you’re doing, Bitcoin offers a high degree of privacy and anonymity.

But what about the apps and exchanges that sell (and store) Bitcoin? Are they respecting our privacy? And what are they doing with all our data? Online encryption service, Surfshark, decided to do some digging. And using information collected from the Apple App Store, it then compiled a list of the most data-hungry cryptocurrency apps.

Coinbase gets a bad rap from the crypto community. Last year the exchange announced it would provide tax authorities with details of customers who cash out large amounts of crypto. Moreover, many purists think Coinbase’s centralized model goes against the fundamental principles of crypto, such as personal sovereignty and a giant f-you to big business and legacy finance. And this study is unlikely to change that opinion. Coinbase is officially the most data-hungry app, tracking 18 types of data for each customer.

But Coinbase is clear about what it does with customer data. It does not – and will not – sell any data to third parties without consent. And Coinbase customers can take comfort from knowing their data is in safe hands. As of yet, Coinbase has never been hacked. The same can’t be said for many other exchanges. In 2019 hackers breached 12 exchanges, stealing $292million of crypto and over 500,000 user log-in details.

Wirex and eToro are the next two apps with the biggest appetites for your data. Wirex collects 13 segments of personal info, while eToro harvests 16. That data includes personal information, location, and diagnostics, although eToro is only one of two exchanges in the study that snoops through your browsing history; the other is Delta Exchange, a crypto derivatives and futures trading platform.

Despite being one of the world’s most popular crypto exchanges, Binance tracks just four pieces of your data. But Crypto Pro is the go-to trading platform for libertarian types or customers with privacy concerns. Crypto Pro doesn’t collect any personal data or use any tracking or analytics software. Instead, the only thing Crypto Pro asks for is a User ID. It also lets customers store crypto on their own devices. This is a huge plus for the Bitcoin maximalists. Because as the saying goes, “not your keys, not your Bitcoin.”

Here’s a full breakdown of all the other data-hungry crypto apps.