The Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong explains that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the only government agency unwilling to meet with the company.
Speech in Anthony Pompliano’s Best Business Show on September 24th, Armstrong said during his visit to Washington after Coinbase went public in April, the SEC was the “only regulator” that refused to meet with him.:
“I contacted the SEC. I tried to get a meeting with them. They told me they hadn’t met with any cryptocurrency company. “
“I was a bit surprised because there are many different controls. Each of them was ready to meet with us and any other branch of government.“, he added.
Armstrong highlighted his company’s problems with the SEC’s approach earlier this month when he revealed that the watchdog threatened to sue the company if it launched a dollar-coin-loan program (USDC) it offered.. Despite the fact that other companies are already offering similar services, he said the SEC refused to give the go-ahead on the grounds that the program was a security but gave no explanation of how it reached that conclusion.
During the interview with Pomp, Coinbase CEO noted that the SEC hasn’t changed its mind since then and said it didn’t even call the company.. Armstrong asked:
• How do you protect consumers in this case? I think it turned out that many consumers wanted higher returns on their savings accounts. They don’t actually source these products from existing financial services. ”
“So that was an open question. And the second was how they level the playing field“, he added.
Armstrong said that Coinbase had considered taking the SEC to court, but decided it wasn’t worth a long litigation, not least because “the judicial system has a lot of respect for regulators.“.
The company has withdrawn its plans to launch the program and instead will remain on the sidelines until the regulatory landscape surrounding cryptocurrency lending is more transparent:
Let’s see what the SEC does about the other products that are already on the market where there is no level playing field today.
“I believe that We would also like to focus our efforts on perhaps even more important things that are happening in the crypto space, such as questions about which of these token securities are and how DeFi should be used“, he added.
Cryptocurrencies are going to Washington
On how policymakers see cryptocurrencies, Armstrong said: In Washington there is a 50/50 split between people who think it’s risky and people who see the opportunity the industry offers:
You know, around 50% of the people I’ve spoken to in DC still consider cryptocurrencies a risk. You think that’s scary. This is dangerous. You have all sorts of misconceptions about the percentage of activities that are intended for illegal activity.
“So That’s probably half the people I know in DC and the other half realizes that this is actually a great opportunity, ”he added..
Armstrong also performed at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference on September 22nd announcing that Coinbase is preparing a draft regulatory framework that it will submit to U.S. lawmakers next month. The company hopes to be an “advisor” who can advocate for “sensible regulation”., and Armstrong notes that regulators have asked the company several times for a proposal for a cryptocurrency.