Coinbase: Moving America Forward or Moving out of US?

In an effort to promote the importance of cryptocurrency and its potential to revolutionize the global financial system, Coinbase, the leading crypto exchange, launched a national campaign, “Crypto: Moving America Forward.” 

The campaign kick-off involves a series of four different advertisements, each featuring Brian Armstrong, to be aired on popular Sunday shows with a new chapter premiering every weekend. The ads aim to articulate the significance of crypto technology and elucidate what’s at stake for the United States.

Coinbase had previously commissioned a national survey from Morning Consult, which indicated that one in five Americans owns crypto and that 80% of Americans are inclined towards updating the financial system.

In light of these findings, Coinbase announced “Go Broad, Go Deep,” a global initiative to expand its presence in significant financial markets seeking to become crypto hubs. Locations include the UK, Canada, Dubai, Brazil, and Singapore. As part of this initiative, Coinbase has also inaugurated a global advisory council and launched a new international exchange in Bermuda.

The campaign “Crypto: Moving America Forward,” also seeks to highlight that US global economic leadership and national security might be jeopardized if the US cedes its role in constructing technology that will be central to the world’s financial infrastructure.

In addition to the ad series, the campaign comprises “The History of Money Initiative,” an educational program charting the evolution of currency, and “Stand With Crypto Day,” scheduled for July 19, where crypto-enthusiasts will gather in Washington, D.C., advocating for crypto-friendly policies.

Coinbase will also collaborate with the Financial Times to host “The State of Crypto Summit” in New York City on June 22, inviting influential stakeholders from the traditional financial sector to discuss crypto’s evolving role as financial technology.

However, amid these initiatives, last month, Armstrong warned that Coinbase might consider moving its headquarters outside the US, citing dissatisfaction with the country’s approach to crypto regulation. This move underscores the tension between crypto exchanges and regulatory bodies, a situation that demands urgent attention.

Armstrong’s initiative underscores the importance of a national conversation on the role of cryptocurrency in reshaping the global financial landscape. With one in five Americans already owning crypto, it’s clear that the future is here.


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Coinbase Layer 2 Network

The Ethereum community appears to have a bullish view of Coinbase’s newly announced layer-2 network, Base, which has been described as a “massive confidence vote” and a “watershed moment” for the blockchain network. This has been described as a “massive confidence vote” and a “watershed moment” for the blockchain network.

Protected by Ethereum and driven by Optimism’s layer-2 network, Base’s long-term objective is to evolve into a network that facilitates the development of decentralized applications (DApps) for use on blockchains. According to the chief executive officer of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, the layer-2 network is now in the testnet phase.

Members of the cryptocurrency community such as Ryan Sean Adams, host of the Bankless Show, are of the opinion that the move “is a massive vote of confidence for Ethereum.” If this is proven to be the case, it could set a precedent for cryptocurrency companies and financial institutions to use Ethereum as their preferred settlement layer.

Since its founding in 2012, Coinbase has amassed roughly 110 million verified users and has worked with 245,000 businesses across more than 100 countries. According to CoinGecko, its cryptocurrency exchange is the second biggest in the world in terms of trading volume. The first place goes to Binance.

“This alone will 10x the overall number of crypto native users,” Adams said, adding that “if Coinbase converts 20% of its 110 million verified users to Layer 2 users in the future years,” this alone will 10x the entire number of verified users.

Adam also praised Coinbase for its decision to open-source Base, and he is of the opinion that the newly introduced layer-2 network would result in an increased demand for block space on Ethereum.

In the meantime, Sebastien Guillemot, co-founder of blockchain infrastructure company dcSpark, suggested that Coinbase made a wise decision to go with a layer 2 as opposed to an independent sidechain, noting that “almost all” cryptocurrency transactions and value locked on Ethereum resides on layer 2s these days. Guillemot was referring to the fact that “almost all” cryptocurrency transactions and value locked on Ethereum resides on layer 2s.

In a tweet dated February 23, Ryan Watkins, co-founder of the cryptocurrency-focused hedge fund Syncracy Capital, referred to the announcement as a “watershed moment” in the ecosystem of Ethereum rollups. He went on to say that there was “probably no one better” positioned than Coinbase to get Ethereum’s next 10 million consumers and institutions on board.

However, there were some bears among the bulls.

Gabriel Shapiro, general counsel of investment firm Delphi Labs, explained in a Twitter post dated February 23 that launching a centralized layer-2 network “opens the door” to unwarranted scrutiny from the SEC. He was referring to the fact that the SEC has the authority to investigate investment firms.

“A centralized L2 that trades lots of tokens any number of which could be alleged securities, or does lots of DeFi transactions that arguably might alleged to be regulated (security swaps etc), opens the door to the SEC making new kinds of secondary market claims,” wrote Shapiro, adding that “imo, this will accelerate the SEC’s “secondary market” agenda re: blockchain securities issues, because they can’t let an SEC registrant “get away with” potential violations and

Concerns raised by Shapiro come at a time when the SEC has lately ramped up its enforcement operations against a number of stablecoin issuers and service providers of staking services.


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What the U.S. Congress Decides on Crypto Will Ultimately Overstepping their authority

The policy expert for the cryptocurrency advocacy group Blockchain Association says that despite attempts to police cryptocurrency through enforcement actions, United States financial regulators “are bound by legal reality,” and Congress will ultimately decide what regulations should be put in place for cryptocurrencies.

Jake Chervinsky, the chief policy officer of the organization, contributed his thoughts to a lengthy Twitter conversation on the topic of the current status of crypto policy on February 14.

He made the observation that the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission “do not have the ability to completely oversee cryptocurrency.”

Given the ideological divide that exists between the House Republicans and Senate Democrats, Chervinsky is of the opinion that a compromise on the crypto legislation is “unlikely.” He said that the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission had exceeded their powers in an effort to “get things done” without Congress.

Chervinsky issued a plea for the sector to maintain its composure in the wake of the recent flurry of action from the SEC, which he referred to as “crypto’s biggest opponent.” As an example, Chervinsky cited the SEC’s crackdown on staking services.

The settlement that the SEC reached with the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken on February 9, which forbade Kraken from ever selling staking services to consumers in the United States, has been publicly criticized by SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce.

Peirce expressed his disagreement with the majority opinion in a statement dated February 9, in which he said that regulating a growing business via enforcement “is neither an effective or equitable manner of governing” the industry.

It was proposed by Chervinsky that litigation is one method the cryptocurrency business may press for appropriate legislation. Chervinsky said that the court plays a key role in influencing policy that has been “ignored.”

Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange, is also the subject of an SEC investigation that is similar to the one that led to Kraken’s settlement.

A more stronger position has been adopted by Coinbase CEO and co-founder Brian Armstrong, who believes that it would be disastrous for the United States to do away with staking for cryptocurrencies.

In a tweet dated February 12, Armstrong contended that Coinbase’s staking services are not securities and said that he would “gladly defend this in court if it were necessary.”

The decisions that judges make in important cases establish new standards in the law. If such a case were to be taken before a court and the judge concluded that Coinbase’s staking services did not qualify as securities, then other cryptocurrency businesses who are in a situation comparable to Coinbase’s may utilize the precedent as part of their defense.


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Coinbase Executives Stand Up for Crypto Staking Services

Trade in cryptocurrencies Executives at Coinbase are defending the company’s cryptocurrency staking services, arguing that they cannot be categorized as a security and threatening to take the subject to court in the United States.

The Chief Executive Officer of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, said on Twitter that the business is prepared to “fight this in court if necessary.” The decision to take this action comes after the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken came to a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 10 to cease providing staking services or programs to customers in the United States.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Kraken did not “register the offer and sale of its crypto asset staking-as-a-service program,” which the SEC has determined to be a security. Kraken has agreed to pay $30 million in disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties, in addition to ceasing its services, as part of the settlement.

In a recent blog post, Coinbase’s chief legal officer, Paul Grewal, expressed his opinion on the matter. He said that “staking is neither a security under the US Securities Act, nor under the Howey test.” Grewal continued by saying, “Trying to superimpose securities law onto a process like staking does not help consumers in any way, and instead imposes unnecessarily aggressive mandates that will prevent US consumers from accessing basic cryptocurrency services and push users to offshore, unregulated platforms.”

Grewal contends that staking does not satisfy the requirements of the Howey test, which need a commitment of money, participation in a common venture, a reasonable expectation of rewards, and the assistance of other people. According to what he stated, “The Howey test originates from a 1946 Supreme Court decision — and there is a different conversation to be conducted about whether or not that test makes sense for current commodities like crypto.”


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SEC Chair on FTX Collapse: Investors Need Better Protection

The collapse of the beleaguered crypto trading platform, FTX Derivatives Exchange has pushed top government officials, including Gary Gensler, the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to weigh in on the digital currency ecosystem.


Speaking in an interview with CNBC, Gensler said he has reiterated time and again that investors need adequate protection. He bemoaned the fact that despite the clear regulations that is existent in the industry, most players are still very much non-compliant to the rules.

“I think that investors need better protection in this space. It’s a field that’s significantly non-compliant, but it’s got regulation,” he said.

For FTX, the SEC boss said the fact that the company has a huge influence in the space in which it has a number of top-profile celebrities including Kevin O’Leary, Tom Brady, and Steph Curry as its ambassadors gives it a massive sway over investors. 

In his view, investors and the “public can fall prey to celebrity promotions,” a trait that showed up as very prominent over the past year. 

Gensler’s stance that the industry has the laws it needs to guide it is somewhat disputed by top figures in the digital currency ecosystem. In the wake of the FTX implosion, Senator Elizabeth Warren shared a tweet noting she will begin pressing the SEC to intensify its scrutiny of the ecosystem. 

In response, Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong said America does not have the right guiding laws for players in the industry, a move that has pushed more than 95% of trading activities offshore. Drawing comparisons with Singapore which has defined models for how crypto players should operate, Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse supported Armstrong’s position underscoring the general consensus about the lack of clarity that exists in the industry.

With the fall of FTX, the SEC, Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) are all now reportedly investigating trading platforms in the US, beginning with FTX US. This may likely be the norm moving forward.

Image source: Shutterstock


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No Significant Risk Exposure to FTX or FTT, Says Coinbase CEO

Amid the meltdown of FTX, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong tweeted that Coinbase has no significant exposure to FTX and its platform currency FTT, as well as Alameda’s exposure.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said that the crash of the FTT token on the FTX exchange appears to be the result of high-risk business practices, including conflicts of interest between related entities and misuse of customer funds (lending user assets).

The Coinbase exchange said it would not engage in this type of high-risk activity. Without customer instructions, Coinbase said it never uses customer deposits for other businesses, and users can withdraw assets at any time.

As a publicly listed exchange in the United States, Coinbase’s financial audit is open to all investors and customers. Coinbase has never issued its platform token.

Armstrong emphasized that Coinbase should continue to work with regulators and policymakers around the world in the future to establish reasonable regulations for centralized exchanges or custodians in each market to build trustworthy and reliable products for the industry, but currently, there is not yet a level playing field.

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, manages assets through Alameda Research, a quantitative cryptocurrency trading firm he founded in October 2017.

This summer, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has been buying up crypto companies that have been caught up in the credit crunch caused by the sudden collapse of cryptocurrencies Luna and UST or TerraUSD.

However, the leaked balance sheet of Alameda Research shows that the balance sheet of Alameda Research is mainly composed of FTT, a token issued by FTX. However, the liquidity of FTT is not ideal, which has raised investors’ concerns that Alameda may encounter a liquidity crisis.

This news is bound to lead to hyperinflation of the exchange’s native token, FTT. While FTX native token FTT has fallen 71.6%, CoinGecko showed, and the firm’s net crypto asset holdings have plunged 83% in just the past two days.

In the long run, the crypto industry is expected to build a better system using DeFi and self-custody wallets, not relying on third parties. Everything can be publicly audited on-chain.

Analysis suggests the weakness in cryptocurrency exchange FTX this time may provide short-term benefits to other exchanges such as Coinbase. Still, FTX’s liquidity risk has also raised concerns about the overall vulnerability of the industry. Retail investors may consider moving assets to private wallets if the centralized exchange problem persists.

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Coinbase CEO Criticizes Singapore’s Aim to Become a Web3 Hub at Expense of Crypto Trading

While speaking at the Singapore FinTech Festival 2022 on November 3, the CEO of U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, raised concerns that Singapore wants to become a forward-looking regulator, but is not welcoming cryptocurrency trading.

Armstrong stated: “Singapore wants to be a Web3 hub, and then simultaneously say: ’Oh, we’re not really going to allow retail trading or self-hosted wallets to be available.” He then said: “Those two things are incompatible in my mind.”

Armstrong further said: “Crypto should not be treated at a disadvantage; they should be treated equally with other financial service regulations.”

Comments by Armstrong came after Coinbase obtained in-principle approval from Singapore Central Bank to offer digital payment token services in the city-state last month.

Meanwhile, Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and Ravi Menon, the Central Bank’s Managing Director who were present at the event responded to Armstrong’s concerns.

Mohanty stated that retail investors today are “exposed to risks they do not understand they are taking.” He said the Singapore central bank believes that Web 3.0 is the future, but wants to ensure that money trading within the ecosystem is a safe currency. Mohanty explained that while the regulator doesn’t worry about internet protocols, it cares about consumers and wants to ensure they are protected.

On the other hand, Mr. Menon responded that MAS “wants to develop the city-state into a ‘crypto hub’ fueled by instant settlements, tokenized assets, and programmable money, not ‘speculating in cryptocurrencies’.”

Menon said Singapore wants to be a crypto asset hub but does not want to be a hub where trading and speculating in cryptocurrencies take place.

Menon further explained that “real value in the crypto industry comes from tokenizing assets and placing them on a distributed ledger for use cases that increase economic efficiency.”

Menon’s comments at the conference came after officials in Hong Kong announced at their own annual gathering, the Hong Kong FinTech Week, a series of policies to re-attract digital asset investment.

The announcement signaled that Hong Kong has joined the race to become Asia’s main financial hub.

On Monday this week, Hong Kong launched an overhaul of crypto regulations that puts it on course to legalize retail trading. The policy even gave firms the chance to start futures-based crypto exchange-traded funds. Officials are also willing to review property rights for tokenized assets and the legality of smart contracts.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong To Sell 2% Stake to Fund Science and Tech Development

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase Global Inc., has announced plans to sell about 2% of his holdings in the firm over the next year to fund scientific research. 

He tweeted the matter on Friday night. Armstrong owns a 16% stake and controls 59.5% of voting rights in Coinbase, according to the company’s 2022 proxy statement. The CEO plans to use capital to fund some scientific research and companies including biotechnology company NewLimit and scientific research firm ResearchHub.

Armstrong informed his Twitter community followers about his decision, which is based on his desire to assist in accelerating science and technology to help solve some of the major challenges in the globe. He, therefore, plans to sell his 2% stake in Coinbase to fund scientific research and companies.

NewLimit deals with researching epigenetic drivers of aging and developing products that can regenerate tissues to treat specific patient populations. On the other hand, Research Hub focuses on accelerating the pace of science by rewarding the open sharing and discussion of academic research.

Besides his intentions to sell some of his holdings to fund science and technology developments, Armstrong reaffirms his bullishness on Coinbase and the crypto landscape, showing his intentions to serve as CEO for the long term.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I intend to be CEO of Coinbase for a very long time and I remain super bullish on crypto and Coinbase. I’m fully dedicated to growing our business and advancing our mission, but I am also excited to contribute in a different way.”

This appears in contrast to the current trends in the industry that has seen several crypto CEOs stepping down from their roles in recent weeks.

Last month, the crypto industry’s epic shakeout that recently caused massive job losses and a series of consolidations reached the corner office. Crypto executives such as Genesis CEO Michael Moro, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, Alameda Research co-CEO Sam Trabucco, and FTX.US President Brett Harrison stepped down from their positions a few weeks ago.

 The departures illustrate an ongoing shift within the beleaguered crypto industry, which is still reeling from the humbling market crash earlier this year. On Friday, shares of Coinbase Global (COIN) fell more than 8%, with the current price trading at $63.59. Recently, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan downgraded Coinbase shares to “sell” due to the continued fall in crypto prices and the ensuing fall in industry activity levels.

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Crypto Winter Beats Top Crypto Billionaires from US Ranking – Forbes

The downturn in the broader digital currency ecosystem has hit some notable billionaires in the US, pulling four names out of the wealthiest American’s list, according to Forbes data.


The media outfit said of the 7 names that made the list of the 400 richest last year with a cumulative net worth of $55.1 billion, only 4 are left, and they all command just $27.3 billion.

With both the prices of digital currencies and the valuation of companies plummeting by a very wide range, the networth of all the billionaires profiled have dropped, even though all still rank as some of America’s richest.

The Crypto Billionaires Who Made the List

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) is the richest crypto billionaire in the United States and currently ranks in the 41st position. SBF now boasts of a cumulative networth of $17.2 billion, down from $22.5 billion as of this period last year. Sam is the CEO of FTX Derivatives Exchange and a host of other successful subsidiaries of the trading platform.

The next best-ranked billionaire is Sam’s Co-Founder, Gary Wang, whose networth and ranking are pegged at $4.6 billion and 227, respectively. Wang owned approximately 16% each of both FTX and FTX US.

Ripple Co-Founder, Chris Larsen is the 380th richest American with a total valuation of $2.8 billion (down from $6 billion). Chris’s valuation has been impacted by the price of the XRP coin and the long-protracted lawsuit with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the status of XRP as a security.

Brain Armstrong, the CEO of Nasdaq-listed trading platform Coinbase Global Inc ranks in the  388th position atop a $2.7 billion (down from $11.5 billion). With the shares of Coinbase plunging remarkably, Brian comes off as the billionaire that has taken the most hit over the past year.

Crypto Billionaires Who Fell by the Wayside

According to the Forbes report, The Winklevoss twin does not make a list this year despite their $2.2 billion networth. As of last year, the Gemini twin was worth $4.3 billion. Jed McCaleb (worth $2.5 billion) and Fred Erhsam (worth $1.1 billion) did not also make the elite list this year.

Image source: Shutterstock


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1Bn Crypto Users Forecasted in the Next Decade, Says Coinbase CEO

Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase Global Inc, said there would be as many as 1 billion users of cryptocurrencies within the next decade.

Bloomberg reported, citing Armstrong’s remarks during a commentary about price volatility related to the cryptocurrency market at Monday’s Milken Institute Global Conference.

There are currently only about 200 million users of cryptocurrencies in the global market.

During the meeting with Cathie Wood, the CEO of Ark Invest, who made a bullish prediction on bitcoin Ryan Armstrong said:

“My guess is that in 10-20 years, we’ll see a substantial portion of GDP happening in the crypto economy,”

DeFi is able to provide almost all financial services, with traditional and central institutions, usually banks, but on the blockchain. Any traditional service provided by a financial institution can be provided through DeFi. In short, Defi is a blockchain-based financial service mirrored by conventional financial services, creating new services or derivatives derived from the unique capabilities of blockchain. Because Defi does not require intermediaries like traditional banks, it can freely trade tokens or borrow tokens.

Meanwhile, Wood believes Bitcoin to be a game-changer by explaining why the cryptocurrency is soaring and gaining traction as a hedge, saying that she considers decentralized finance is great promising, urging the industry to look up to the issue of talent acquisition by adding that:

“In the case of DeFi and next-generation internet, we are seeing a lot of financial companies losing talent to crypto. So they have to take it seriously, or else they are going to be hollowed out.”

As the cryptocurrency market continues to expand, Coinbase has taken steps to expand its footprint to the rest of the world by acquiring and investing in large exchanges elsewhere.

In March, Coinbase reportedly announced plans to acquire a Brazilian holding company called 2TM, the parent company of Mercado Bitcoin – a Bitcoin exchange platform from Brazil – which is regarded as the largest crypto exchange in the Latin American region.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 26,944.22 0.64%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,877.76 0.12%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 94.96 4.15%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 114.68 1.46%