Kostyantyn Kryvopust: CEO of Coinbase is considering exiting the US due to regulatory uncertainty


Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said the exchange could leave the US if regulators don’t clarify their approach to the digital asset space.

“Anything is on the table, including moving or whatever else is necessary,” he said at the Innovate Finance Global Summit on Tuesday after being asked by former UK chancellor George Osborne if he could foresee an exit Coinbase from the US, reports The Telegraph .

The announcement came as the US stepped up efforts to bring the crypto industry under its regulatory oversight.

Regulatory bodies in the country, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), have begun an aggressive crackdown on the crypto industry.

The SEC recently issued a “Wells notice” to Coinbase, threatening the crypto exchange with legal action over certain listed digital assets, its staking service Coinbase Earn, Coinbase Prime, and Coinbase Wallet.

Similarly, the CFTC recently announced that it is suing Binance and founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao over allegations that the crypto exchange knowingly offered unregistered crypto derivatives products in the US in violation of the law.

“I think the US has the potential to be an important cryptocurrency market, but right now we’re not seeing the regulatory clarity we need,” Armstrong added:

“I think in a few years, if we don’t see regulatory clarity in the U.S., we may have to look at investing more in other parts of the world.”

Recent regulatory pressure has forced at least one crypto exchange to leave the US.

As reported, Bittrex has announced that it will cease operations in the US due to increased regulatory pressure and a lack of clear regulatory requirements. Bittrex co-founder Richie Lai said in a statement at the time:

“Regulatory requirements are often vague and applied without appropriate discussion or input, resulting in an uneven competitive environment. Work in the USA is no longer possible.”

Armstrong would choose the UK over the US if he could re-list Coinbase

Armstrong said he would consider the London Stock Exchange over the New York Stock Exchange if given the chance to re-list his company.

Cryptoboss argued that the UK has a regulatory advantage as there is only one regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is responsible for both commodities and securities.

On the other hand, the US has two separate bodies: the CFTC and the SEC. Armstrong said there is a “battle” between the two regulators, who have issued conflicting statements.

“This unfortunate incident does not happen when the CFTC and SEC are in a turf war,” he said.

“We actually have conflicting statements from the heads of the CFTC and the SEC coming out almost every few weeks. How will a business operate in such an environment? We just want to have a clear set of rules.”

Coinbase is reportedly considering setting up a digital asset exchange outside the United States amid increased regulatory pressure and a worsening banking climate for crypto companies.

In March, Armstrong warned that the SEC’s hostile regulatory approach could push the crypto industry out of the United States.

The crypto boss said that almost all major financial centers, including Singapore, Hong Kong, London and, more recently, the European Union, have implemented comprehensive cryptocurrency legislation, adding that the US should also follow suit if it does not want to be left behind. .

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