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Coinbase CEO Condemns Staking Restrictions by SEC in the US

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong says he's heard rumors the SEC is looking into banning cryptocurrency staking in the US.
  • The value of staked assets reached nearly $42 billion in Q4 2022.
  • SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has previously stated that cryptocurrencies that allow staking could be classified as securities under the Howey test.
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Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has called out the SEC over rumors that it is looking to ban crypto staking services in the U.S.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has criticized recent rumors around restrictions on crypto staking in the United States. In a series of tweets, he slammed the Securities and Exchange Commission for limiting innovation and harming the growth of the crypto industry in the country.

He tweeted: 

“We’re hearing rumors that the SEC would like to get rid of crypto staking in the U.S. for retail customers. I hope that’s not the case as I believe it would be a terrible path for the U.S. if that was allowed to happen.”

Staking involves holding onto cryptocurrency in a wallet for a period of time to support the network and earn rewards. Armstrong expressed frustration with the regulations, saying that they are overly restrictive and will stifle the ability of companies like Coinbase to offer staking services to their customers. 

Significance of Crypto Staking

This could have a negative impact on the adoption of cryptocurrencies in the country. Retailers or customers may be less likely to invest in them if they cannot easily participate in staking. ‘Staking brings many positive improvements to the space, including scalability, increased security, and reduced carbon footprints,’ he added. 

At the same time, staking plays a crucial role in adding more users to crypto investing platforms like Coinbase. The total staked valuation in Q4 2022 amounted to more than $40 billion, with annualized staking rewards of $3 billion. In fact, blockchain rewards amounted to more than 10% of Coinbase’s revenue last year. 

The restrictions on staking are just the latest example of the challenges faced by the crypto industry in navigating the complex regulatory landscape.

Despite its growing popularity, crypto staking could be classified as securities under the Howey test, thus, prompting action from the SEC.

Nevertheless, Armstrong thinks otherwise

What was the motive behind this?

Overall, the abrupt speculation concerning Armstrong’s suspicions saw different reactions from leaders on the social media platform. 

Whereas some saw this development as an ‘interesting chess move:’ 

The debate over staking restrictions is also part of a larger conversation about the role of government in crypto. Some argue that regulations are necessary to prevent fraud and protect investors. Others believe government intervention will stifle innovation and slow industry growth.

Regardless of the outcome, it is clear that the crypto industry will face challenges as it evolves and grows. The industry must work closely with regulators to find a solution that allows innovation while protecting consumers. By doing so, the crypto industry can continue to thrive and play an essential role in shaping the future of finance and technology.

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Shubham Pandey
An engineer and an accountant by degree, Shubham ventured into the crypto world to pursue his passion. He believes digital currencies will redefine our economies in the decades to come, which drove his transition into this industry. Shubham has a multicultural background, having lived across India, Qatar, Oman and Australia. He is currently settled in Melbourne. As a News Writer, Shubham aims to actively analyze trends in the crypto world and break it down for everyday readers.