Coinbase could relocate from the US if no regulatory clarity, says CEO

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Key takeaways

  • Coinbase’s CEO has revealed that the crypto exchange could relocate if there is no regulatory clarity in the United States.

  • Brian Armstrong said the US has the potential to be an important market for crypto.

  • Coinbase was recently issued a Wells Notice by the United States SEC.

Coinbase could relocate its headquarters

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, has revealed that the cryptocurrency exchange would consider relocating its headquarters from the United States if the regulatory uncertainty continues.

He mentioned this while speaking at Fintech Week in London. According to Armstrong, the regulatory environment in the US remains unclear at the moment, and this is affecting the crypto ecosystem there. 

Former U.K. Chancellor George Osbourne asked whether he could see Coinbase leaving the U.S, and Armstrong said;

“Anything is on the table, including relocating or whatever is necessary. I think the U.S. has the potential to be an important market for crypto, but right now, we are not seeing the regulatory clarity that we need. I think in a number of years, if we don’t see that regulatory clarity emerges in the U.S., we may have to consider investing more elsewhere in the world.”

UK’s regulatory atmosphere is clearer

Armstrong praised the regulatory efforts in the United Kingdom, highlighting the fact that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the only regulatory agency tasked with handling securities and commodities.

However, in the United States, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) handles commodities, while the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates securities. Armstrong added that;

“You don’t have this unfortunate thing happening where the CFTC and the SEC are having a turf battle. We actually have contradictory statements from the heads of the CFTC and the SEC coming out almost every few weeks – how’s a business going to operate in that environment? We just want a clear rulebook.”

Armstrong’s comments barely a month after Coinbase received a Wells Notice from the SEC. The Wells Notice warned Coinbase of looming regulatory action for listing unregistered securities on its platform. 

The CEO commented that Coinbase is not entirely surprised by the SEC’s actions. 


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