Unclear regulations have driven cryptocurrency firms to move offshore, Coinbase’s CEO says.
And his company could eventually be one of them.
Speaking at an industry conference Tuesday (April 18), Brian Armstrong said last year’s collapse of Bahamas-based crypto company FTX underscores the need for the United States and Great Britain to come up with clear guidelines for the industry.
“This is the reason why we need clarity about legislation and regulation onshore because if the U.K. doesn’t have this, if the U.S. doesn’t have this, these firms are going to be built in offshore havens,” said Armstrong, whose comments at Innovate Finance were reported by Reuters.
A separate report from Coindesk notes that Armstrong also said Coinbase could pull up stakes.
“Anything is on the table, including relocating or whatever is necessary,” he said when former U.K. Chancellor George Osbourne asked if Armstrong could see Coinbase leaving the U.S.
“I think the U.S. has the potential to be an important market for crypto, but right now we are not seeing that regulatory clarity that we need,” he said. “I think in a number of years if we don’t see that regulatory clarity emerge in the U.S. we may have to consider investing more elsewhere in the world.”
Last month saw reports that Coinbase was considering building a marketplace outside the U.S.
Days later, the company became the second crypto firm in the U.S. to receive a Wells notice from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) tied to Coinbase’s listing of potential unregistered securities across its suite of digital asset products and services.
“Based on discussions with the Staff, the Company believes these potential enforcement actions would relate to aspects of the Company’s spot market, staking service Coinbase Earn, Coinbase Prime and Coinbase Wallet,” Coinbase said in a statement.
As PYMNTS wrote soon after this, actions by the federal government have come to look as though Washington “is trying to put the crypto sector to bed.”
Prompting this statement was a report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers that devotes a 35-page chapter to reviewing why use cases of blockchain-based digital assets have not lived up their promises, and going over the risks they pose to both consumers and the U.S. financial system.
“The picture painted is dim, and industry observers believe it may signal a shift in the Biden administration’s approach to the crypto sector from neutral to negative,” PYMNTS wrote.