“US Is At A Critical Juncture,” says Coinbase CEO; Calls for ‘Sandbox for Crypto Startups’

Seeking regulatory clarity for crypto, Brian Armstrong says, the U.S. needs to be “a major player in crypto to stay relevant long term.”

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has been spending his time meeting the members of Congress and heads of various federal agencies in order to establish relationships with the regulators and help answer their questions about the cryptocurrency industry.

He met with Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), Virginia US senator Mark Warner, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Speaker Paul Ryan, and many others. While some were “very positive,” others were skeptics. Armstrong said,

“The politicians and agency heads I met with were all thoughtful and committed individuals, and I was happy to have our teams connected, and new friendships formed.”

Armstrong took to Twitter to share that they have been working on getting more regulatory clarity in the space as part of the newly formed Crypto Council for Innovation. He said,

“Crypto is as important as the birth of the internet in terms of the jobs, GDP growth, and innovation it can create. The U.S. will need to be a major player in crypto to stay relevant long term.”

There is a serious lack of regulatory clarity in the US “because crypto is not just one thing,” as while some cryptos might be securities, some could be commodities and others’ currencies/property, and some even none of them.

This, of course, presents a major problem in terms of fewer startups and companies going abroad. Billionaire investor Mark Cuban voiced similar issues this week and urged regulators to free crypto to maintain USD’s status as the world's reserve currency.

According to the co-founder of Coinbase, the biggest crypto exchange in the US which went public last month, what the US needs is a “safe harbor/sandbox for crypto startups to get off the ground.” It would also provide the regulatory agencies a common framework to follow, he said.

Coinbase is also “committed to being bipartisan in any policy efforts,” stated Armstrong.

During his meeting with the officials, Armstrong also covered China’s digital yuan, which has been leading in the central bank digital currency (CBDC) efforts in the world while the Federal Reserve is in no hurry, as said by Chairman Jerome Powell many times.

China moving so quickly on a CBDC “represents a threat to U.S. reserve currency status long term,” said Armstrong. According to him, the U.S. needs to move quickly and start creating its own digital dollar. He said,

“The U.S. is at a critical juncture in making holistic decisions around cryptocurrency. Imagine the U.S. without the internet.”

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