- Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong criticizes SEC chief Gary Gensler for being on a “lone crusade” with a more “anti-crypto view.”
- Coinbase is under scrutiny from the SEC for selling unregistered securities, which the company denies.
- Armstrong confirms that Coinbase will not relocate overseas and instead plans to increase international investments.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase’s CEO, Brian Armstrong, has criticized the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for being on “a lone crusade” against the industry. Armstrong, however, has dialed back on his earlier suggestion that Coinbase may relocate its headquarters overseas.
The SEC had earlier served Coinbase with a Wells Notice, a letter sent to a company or firm at the conclusion of an SEC investigation that states the SEC is planning to bring an enforcement action against them. Coinbase disputes the SEC’s allegation that it is selling unregistered securities to investors.
“The SEC is a bit of an outlier here,” Armstrong told CNBC’s Dan Murphy in an interview in Dubai on Monday. “There’s kind of a lone crusade, if you will, with Gary Gensler, the chair there, and he has taken a more anti-crypto view for some reason.”
Armstrong added that the SEC chair, Gary Gensler, has created some lawsuits and that the regulatory body’s actions are unhelpful for the industry in the U.S. but they also provide Coinbase with an opportunity to seek clarity from the courts.
The CEO had previously suggested that Coinbase may consider relocating outside the U.S. if the current regulatory climate persisted. However, he has now stated that Coinbase is not planning to move its headquarters overseas and will always have a U.S. presence.
“I would say we’re seeing more thoughtful approaches, for instance, in the EU [European Union], they’ve actually already passed comprehensive crypto legislation, the U.K. has been incredibly welcoming, and for us there, and that’s been a hub where we’ve decided to serve the U.K. market,” Armstrong said.
Coinbase is looking to increase its international investments, with the United Arab Emirates being of particular interest. Dubai has been notably favorable when it comes to crypto, attracting businesses such as Binance and Kraken.
Armstrong said he is in Dubai to “learn and listen and meet with the relevant regulators both in Abu Dhabi and here in Dubai and decide if this is a good place for us to serve a large region of the world.”
The SEC has been pursuing regulatory action against crypto companies for failing to register their tokens as securities. This has created a challenging environment for companies like Coinbase, which operate in the U.S.
The SEC’s investigations have led to massive fines for some crypto companies, and it has brought attention to the lack of regulatory clarity in the industry. As a result, many crypto companies are looking for new locations to operate from, and they are eyeing jurisdictions with more favorable regulatory climates.
The lack of regulatory clarity has been a significant issue for the crypto industry, and it has led to uncertainty for investors. However, with the recent passing of comprehensive crypto legislation in the EU and the U.K., it is hoped that the U.S. will soon follow suit.
Coinbase’s decision to maintain its U.S. presence while increasing its international investments shows that the company is optimistic about the future of the crypto industry in the U.S. and is committed to working with regulators to create a more favorable environment.
In conclusion, while the SEC’s regulatory actions against crypto companies may seem unhelpful, they provide an opportunity for companies like Coinbase to seek clarity from the courts. Coinbase’s decision to maintain its U.S. presence while expanding its international investments shows that the company is committed to working with regulators to create a more favorable environment for the crypto industry. It remains to be seen how the U.S. regulatory landscape will evolve, but with the passing of comprehensive crypto legislation in other countries, it is hoped that the U.S. will follow suit soon.