The decision is a victory of sorts for Coinbase, because the IRS originally demanded that the exchange turn over data on more than 1 million accounts. Now, the IRS only seeks user information on accounts that conducted Bitcoin transactions worth $20,000 or more.
It's certainly understandable why the IRS wants this data. After all, only about 800 US taxpayers declared crypto-related gains or losses from 2013 to 2015. The value of Bitcoin rose from $13 to $426 – an increase of more than 1,300% during this period.
It's safe to say that the Coinbase summons is only the tip of the iceberg in a market with the capital value of Bitcoin now approaching $300 billion. And that doesn't include any other cryptos. Ethereum has a market cap approaching $70 billion. Bitcoin Cash – a crypto created to deal with some technical limitations of Bitcoin – has a market cap of $42 billion.