Coinbase CEO says crypto industry needs clarity, either from Congress or case law

Upland: Berlin is here!

The U.S. cryptocurrency industry needs regulatory clarity, but that can only be achieved through Congress or case law, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said. Said wall street journal.

Armstrong said there was an ongoing power struggle between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and that Coinbase was “caught in a dilemma” in a turf war between the two bodies. Stated.

The SEC and CFTC have contradicted each other in the past, with the CFTC claiming certain assets such as Ethereum are commodities, while the SEC calls them securities.

Amstrong said clarification is needed as the two institutions have not reached an agreement on the status of cryptocurrencies as securities or commodities. And Congress needs to step in and frame a bill to make this clear, he said.

But until legislation is enacted, the industry will rely on precedents emerging from lawsuits like the one the SEC filed against Coinbase last week, he said.

Armstrong Says Coinbase Only Lists Cryptocurrency Products

In the lawsuit, the SEC alleges that 13 of the assets listed on Coinbase are securities. However, Coinbase denies this claim.

Armstrong said Coinbase carefully vetted its tokens before listing and rejected 90% of the vetted assets. The listing process includes “rigorous analysis” and every asset listed on the exchange has a “paper pile,” he said. And he “feels” that tokens listed on Coinbase are commodities and not securities.

Armstrong said exchanges were always seeking guidance from the SEC, asking if it was “okay” to list certain tokens. However, Coinbase did not receive any feedback from his SEC, so it had to create its own process.

Coinbase has a Digital Assets Listing Committee, of which Armstrong is not a member, but is reviewing tokens for listing. Armstrong said the commission considers several factors before approving assets for listing, including a legal analysis of whether they are commodities or securities.

Armstrong added that Coinbase shared a framework with the SEC to distinguish between crypto securities and commodities before going public. The SEC’s silence has forced the exchange to rely on its own listing committee made up of “the best legal experts in the world,” he said.

The US Will Finally Reach The “Right Outcome” For Cryptocurrencies

Regardless of the outcome, Amstrong believes a clear explanation from the court would be “a step in the right direction.” But even if it takes years, I am confident that the United States will eventually reach the “right outcome.”

Armstrong said this “right outcome” could come from courts, through congressional bills, or after the 2024 presidential election.

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