Coinbase Launches Global Think Tank to Help Shape Crypto Policy

Updated by Andrew Rossow
In Brief
  • Coinbase launched its global think tank, dubbed the Coinbase Institute on Tuesday.
  • It aims to accelerate rigorous, novel research, and to bring together the best minds to fuel progress on decentralization, Web3, and fintech.
  • Coinbase reportedly spent $785,000 on lobbying efforts in the U.S. in 2021.
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On Tuesday, Coinbase launched its “global crypto-native think tank,” dubbed the Coinbase Institute, in its efforts of accelerating its Web3 research.

The Coinbase Institute will anchor around four core pillars, according to the company’s blog post.

  1. Conducting and publishing rigorous, cutting-edge crypto & Web3 research;
  2. Convening collaborative discussions with thought leaders, academics, policymakers, and the crypto community;
  3. Forging partnerships with academic institutions and think tanks to accelerate early-stage research and technical innovation; and
  4. Building an interdisciplinary in-house team to advance public knowledge and awareness of crypto and Web3.

As part of its announcement, Hermine Wong has been appointed as the Director of the Coinbase Institute and a Director of Policy at Coinbase.

“We’re interested in every area of research that involves the crypto economy and how it is interdisciplinary, how it is connected to our global economy, and so there’s nothing that’s going to be off limits,” said Wong.

Previously, Wong served in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at their Division of Economic and Risk Analysis. She also worked at the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the Executive Office of the President, and at the U.S. Department of State.

Crypto lobbying

While the announcement stated nothing explicitly about the subject, think tanks are often vehicles for shaping public policy around a given subject through lobbying. The think tank would not be Coinbase’s first efforts at trying to shape cryptocurrency regulation. 

Rather than adhere to current financial regulators, Coinbase advocated for Congress to form a new regulator to oversee the crypto industry, in a digital asset policy proposal published in October last year.

Coinbase spent $785,000 on lobbying efforts in the U.S. in 2021, according to analysis from Crypto Head.

Coinbase Fact Check

Last year, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong announced the launch of its Coinbase Fact Check service, which would enable the company to publish “the truth” in response to malicious or inaccurate media reports. Coinbase is not alone in trying to shape the policy narrative around cryptocurrencies.

According to a recent study, spending on lobbying for cryptocurrencies in Washington, D.C. more than quadrupled over the past four years. The report summarized that the industry spent over $9 million last year in its efforts to influence members of Congress. 

Another report from the New York Times revealed that many crypto companies were behind the successful efforts of introducing pro-crypto legislation into US state legislatures. The report detailed 153 pieces of cryptocurrency legislation had been introduced in over 40 states since the beginning of the year.

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