After Trip to the UK, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Visits with US Securities and Exchange Commission

Earlier today, Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) visited with officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Armstrong revealed the trip in a Tweet stating:

“Met with the SEC today. We’ll continue pushing for a clear rule book in the U.S. for crypto regs. The U.S. can’t afford to fall behind on this important technology to update the financial system. Also important for regulators to set policy and THEN enforce it. Not start with enforcement before there are clear rules At this point seems like congress will need to step in.”

Armstrong has publicly expressed his frustration with the Commission in the past. In February, he commented on the lack of ability to actually register, stating:

“There was no way for crypto firms to come in and register – it was fake. The SEC’s own commissioner @HesterPeirce
essentially confirms this.”

Along with visiting the SEC, Armstrong and his team also visited with other policymakers:

“Spent the day in DC meeting with members of congress. We need regulatory clarity in the U.S. for the centralized players in crypto for many reasons – consumer protection, national security, economic growth, etc. The SEC has caused untold harm to America with its policy of regulation by enforcement. We will fight to fix that.”

Armstrong recently crossed the Atlantic to visit UK officials, a more welcoming jurisdiction for digital asset innovation.

As the European Union has approved new legislation that should provide defined rules for crypto, Coinbase called the adoption of Markets in Crypto Assets, or MiCA, “a pivotal moment for crypto regulation.” Following the approval of the legislation, the lead MEP on the bill commented on the inability of the US to move forward with bespoke digital asset legislation stating the regulation brings a competitive advantage to the EU.

“The European crypto-asset industry has regulatory clarity that does not exist in countries like the US, ”said Stefan Berger, MEP.

At the same time, Coinbase has recently been approved by the government of Bermuda to launch an offshore exchange.

While the SEC has been hostile towards crypto in general, in Coinbase’s situation, the SEC actually approved the company’s registration as a public firm – greenlighting the business. This creates a bit of a conundrum for the SEC as, on the one hand, they approved of Coinbase, and on the other, they appear to want to destroy shareholder value.

So does the meetup with the Commission indicate a warming relationship between the two sides? In the end, it may not matter as the House is poised to push forward with digital asset legislation, and if the Senate and the President do not support it – Coinbase has other options.

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