Brian Armstrong, Coinbase’s Chief Executive Officer, said that if United States’ regulatory uncertainty regarding BTC and cryptocurrencies persists, Coinbase will consider moving its headquarters out of the US. The regulatory structure in the US is currently unclear, which could impact the crypto space, he stated.
In response to a question at a fintech conference in London on Tuesday, Armstrong reportedly said:
“I think in a number of years if we don’t see that regulatory clarity emerge in the U.S. we may have to consider investing more elsewhere in the world … Anything is on the table, including relocating or whatever is necessary.”
Moreover, he praised the crypto regulatory efforts in the United Kingdom (UK). Armstrong noted that the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) is the sole regulatory authority tasked with managing commodities and securities.
On the other hand, CFTC manages commodities in the US. While the SEC is behind the securities.
We are not talking about the misfortune of being under the CFTC or the SEC, he said. Conflicting statements from the heads of the SEC and CFTC come almost every week about how companies will operate in that environment. In the end, we just want a clear set of rules for the crypto environment, Armstrong said.
Coinbase’s Issues In The US
The largest Bitcoin and crypto exchange by volume, Coinbase is facing increasing regulatory challenges and pressures.
Last year, the US SEC started an investigation against Coinbase. The regulatory agency suspected that some of the digital assets listed in the crypto firm were unregistered securities.
In January 2023, the platform was forced to pay a $100 million fine after an investigation by the New York DFS found that Coinbase was involved in illegal activities.
Meanwhile, last month the SEC issued a Wells Notice — a warning that typically precedes enforcement action. The notice warned of possible regulatory action against the listing of unregistered securities on Coinbase’s platform.
In response to the news, Armstrong showed a confident posture and stated:
“While we understand that this is all part of the journey to reforming our financial system, we are right on the law, confident in the facts, and welcome the opportunity for Coinbase (and by extension the broader crypto community) to get before a court.”
Coinbase is not the only major crypto firm in the digital market that is under investigation. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, and its CEO Changpeng Zhao were sued by the CFTC in March for offering unregistered products in the United States.
Apart from them, another US crypto exchange Bittrex is under SEC target. Bittrex has also received a Wells Notice.