Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong says the enforcement action against Binance has allowed the crypto industry to “turn the page.” He emphasized: “There are many, many companies in crypto that are helping build the crypto economy and update our financial system globally. But many of them are still small startups, so I think getting regulatory clarity is going to help bring in more investment in the crypto space.”
Coinbase’s CEO Shares Crypto Industry Outlook
The CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (Nasdaq: COIN), Brian Armstrong, discussed the crypto industry outlook following Binance’s settlements with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) during an interview with CNBC on Monday. Noting that there have been “a few bad actors in crypto,” the Coinbase executive said:
The enforcement action against Binance, that’s allowing us to kind of turn the page on that and hopefully close that chapter of crypto history.
“It’s a good moment for us to turn the page as an industry and recognize that building a company offshore, skirting regulation, is just not going to work. We’ve seen that now through these high-profile companies that have really gone bust or ended up with regulatory enforcement actions as they should,” Armstrong continued. The executive added that many companies that sought to establish themselves responsibly, legally, and with trustworthiness from the outset now have the opportunity to grow as they should.
Armstrong also addressed concerns by some that cryptocurrency is being used in illicit activity. “It’s true that there has been some small amount of illicit activity in crypto, but it’s actually about less than 1% from what we’ve seen. If you look at the illicit use of cash, for instance, it’s actually, oftentimes, it’s 3% or 4%. That’s much higher than what’s happening in crypto,” he pointed out. The Coinbase CEO noted:
So we’ve now seen millions of people around the globe … that are using crypto and these are just ordinary people.
He emphasized: “There are many, many companies in crypto that are helping build the crypto economy and update our financial system globally. But many of them are still small startups, so I think getting regulatory clarity is going to help bring in more investment in the crypto space.”
Regarding the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit against Coinbase, Armstrong shared: “We feel very good about our case with the SEC and our chances there … this is a civil matter, it’s really just trying to understand the technicality of which assets are commodities, which are securities.” He opined: In the U.S. we have the unfortunate thing of there’s two federal regulators for the commodities and securities.” While reiterating that he believes Coinbase’s chances against the SEC “are very good,” he stressed:
Regardless of the outcome, it’s going to help us with our goal of getting regulatory clarity.
Expressing the view that it would have been preferable for the regulator to publish clear guidance, he suggested that in the absence of that regulatory clarity could come from case law in court or Congress passing legislation.
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