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Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Forsees Bitter Crypto Regulation Battle in Supreme Court

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong, leads the "Stand with Crypto" initiative, lobbying for clear crypto regulations to prevent job losses.
  • Armstrong criticizes US's unclear crypto rules compared to 83% of G-20 countries, advocating for a legislation to bridge CFTC and SEC rules.
  • Amid legal disputes, the Supreme Court allows Coinbase to move customer disputes into arbitration, setting a precedent for similar lawsuits.
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In a bid to safeguard the future of the crypto industry, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is leading a significant push for regulatory clarity in Washington.

This effort, dubbed “Stand with Crypto,” is backed by over 50 crypto company founders. They are all lobbying for industry-friendly regulations to prevent potential job losses overseas. 

Crypto Regulation Battlefield in the US

In a recent interview with Yahoo! Finance, Armstrong warned,

“This is going to be kind of like our 5G or semiconductor moment where in five years, we’ll be thinking, how do we get this back onshore if we don’t do something now.”

He further criticizes the lack of clear rules in the US, compared to 83% of the rest of the G-20 countries, for crypto regulation, consumer protection, and fostering innovation. 

Read more: Crypto Regulation: What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks?

Coinbase and other crypto industry leaders are advocating for a particular piece of legislation, passed by the House Financial Services Committee, that aims to bridge the gap between the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules.

This legislation could provide clarity on why a crypto token would be classified as a commodity or as a security. However, critics argue that the CFTC lacks experience with retail investor protections. They also raised questions about the legislation’s future in the Senate.

A Supreme Court Battle ‘Not Going to Be Good’ for Lawmakers

Armstrong expressed his concern over the SEC’s current approach to regulation by enforcement, which he describes as “harassment.”

He also emphasizes the need for clear rules, warning of the risks of having the legal system decide on the crypto industry’s future. Armstrong stated,

“Right now, the SEC has … won zero of the last three court rulings. So the courts are repudiating the approach that they’re taking. Eventually, if this ends up in the Supreme Court, that’s not going to be good for many of what these lawmakers want.”

Coinbase, in the midst of this regulatory battle, has also been navigating legal disputes with its customers. The Supreme Court allowed Coinbase to move customer disputes into arbitration. This is a process that settles disputes through a third party, bypassing the traditional judicial system.

All in all, this move is seen as a significant victory for Coinbase and could set a precedent for similar lawsuits.

The crypto industry’s battle for regulatory clarity is far from over. As Armstrong and his peers continue their lobbying efforts, the future of crypto regulations in the US remains uncertain.

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