Coinbase Wants the U.S. to Revamp Crypto Regulations

The crypto exchange company published a four-pillar document today.

Coinbase Wants the U.S. to Revamp Crypto Regulations
Shutterstock photo by Ira Lichi

Key Takeaways

  • Coinbase has published a four-pillar recommendation that asks U.S. regulators to create a unified crypto regulatory body.
  • Coinbase believes that the current regulatory system is too disconnected and difficult for projects to navigate.
  • The company has recently been targeted by regulators, and it has discontinued some features in response.

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Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is urging U.S. regulators to create a unified system of cryptocurrency regulations.

Coinbase Lays Out Regulatory Suggestions

Today, Coinbase published a document entitled “Digital Asset Policy Proposal: Safeguarding America’s Financial Leadership.”

CEO Brian Armstrong also wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal laying out those points more briefly.

Armstrong and his company put forward four key points. First, he argued that the U.S. government should create a new regulatory framework around digital assets. Armstrong argues that regulations currently in place were built around financial intermediaries and concepts that do not apply to cryptocurrency.

Second, Armstrong argued that a single federal regulator should be responsible for the new framework. Currently, he says, the U.S. has an “impenetrable array of regulators.”

Third, he argued that this new framework should protect crypto investors. Fourth, he suggested that the framework should allow for fair competition and interoperability between crypto projects.

Armstrong wrote that these suggestions are “meant to spark a conversation about regulating crypto,” adding that they are “not anchored in specific products” but rather a “high-level view of the changing financial system and the new technology that underpins it.”

Will the Plan Go Forward?

It’s not clear how much influence these suggestions will have. Elsewhere, Coinbase Chief Policy Officer Faryar Shirzad said that Coinbase has met with three dozen lawmakers and that the response from the government has been “welcoming.”

Coinbase has quickly become a target for regulators in recent months. In September, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) threatened to sue the company over its Lend product. Coinbase was also forced to end margin trading in response to actions by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Coinbase has also spoken out against regulations that would more broadly affect the crypto industry, including a recent crypto tax bill and rules that would force reporting of large transactions.

Incidentally, the U.S. government has drafted its own unified approach to crypto regulation. The two plans do not seem to be compatible, as Coinbase’s suggestions represent a complete overhaul of the current system.

Ultimately, it seems unlikely that the U.S.’s current group of regulators will follow Coinbase’s suggestions, though the company’s suggestions may gain traction within the crypto industry.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.

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