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Coinomi’s BVI Jurisdiction

Why It Matters

Coinomi is a privacy-focused multi-chain wallet based in the BVI, which has always been and remains obsessed about your privacy and security.

The BVI, while sharing the same monarch as Great Britain, is a self-governing group of islands located in the Caribbean. It has its own legislature elected by BVI citizens, an independent judiciary, and a national police force. The code of laws which BVI companies are required to abide by was enacted in the BVI, not the UK.

“14 Eyes,” also known as SIGINT Seniors Europe, refers to a collection of 14 countries whose foreign intelligence agencies are reported to share military and counterterrorism information with one another. As these intelligence agencies strive to intercept all communications internationally (not only from within their national borders), it is unclear whether there is incremental risk associated with operating a wallet service from within a 14 Eyes country. The BVI does not belong to the 14 Eyes group of countries.

Why should a wallet company’s jurisdiction be important to you?

When choosing a wallet provider, it’s important for users to consider the following:

  1. Is the wallet company operating from a jurisdiction without data retention laws?
  2. What is the legal process by which a government can order the wallet provider to produce information about one or more of its customers?
  3. Under what circumstances can such an order be made?

In Coinomi’s case, there are clear answers:

  1. There are no data retention laws in the BVI. The BVI is an offshore jurisdiction renowned for privacy protection. This is in contrast to many European countries and Australia, which have laws requiring ISPs to retain metadata related to their users’ internet activity.
  2. An order for a BVI company to produce evidence and records (pursuant to an investigation) must come from the BVI High Court. Other countries including the United Kingdom and the United States do not have jurisdiction to compel a BVI company to produce records relating to its customers. These governments must petition the BVI High Court to make such an order under BVI jurisdiction.
  3. The foreign government making the request is required to describe to the BVI High Court
    1. the nature of the criminal activity that has taken place;
    2. the specific evidence being sought;
    3. the relevance of the requested evidence to the case;
    4. grounds for believing that the relevant evidence can be produced from within the BVI.
    Moreover, there is a requirement for “dual criminality,” meaning that for the request to be upheld the same crime must be punishable by at least a one-year prison sentence under BVI law, had it taken place in the BVI.
  4. It’s a highly burdensome process to obtain a BVI court order, and most investigators would not go through such painstaking effort. Compare that to the United States, where any judge or law firm can issue a subpoena with very little hard evidence. U.S. companies are generally required to comply.

What if a foreign government does succeed in compelling the BVI High Court to order Coinomi to release your information?

The answer to this question lies within the following question: What information does Coinomi have about me?

Coinomi has always focused on user privacy and anonymity. Our operation is built around specifically NOT knowing the activities of our users. As privacy is a core part of our service offering, Coinomi is in the business of protecting our users’ private internet data. There are no “accounts”, no KYC/AML, no registrations, no questions asked. Passport scans, phone numbers, and other sensitive data are not required in order to create and operate a Coinomi wallet - and not asked. Your IP address is automatically obfuscated when using the wallet. No private keys are ever communicated to our servers. There are no user activity logs being kept in our servers. We don’t keep nor sell your data.

The combination of Coinomi’s BVI jurisdiction, the absence of activity logs, the IP obfuscation, and the true ownership not only of your funds but also your data is what makes Coinomi the most private multi-chain crypto wallet.