Stock Groups

Coinbase says U.S. should create a new cryptocurrency regulator


Brian Armstrong, Coinbase’s founder and CEO, attends Consensus 2019. The Hilton Midtown Hotel in New York City.

Steven Ferdman | Getty Images

CoinbaseAs part of its new policy proposal, the U.S. must create a new regulator for digital asset markets. In a new policy proposal, it warned that the failure to properly regulate the market could lead the nation further behind.

This proposal is just a day after Andreessen Horowitz (a venture capital firm), made it. released its own visionFor how the next-generation of internet services should be regulated, which includes blockchain and digital assets. As it is known, executives from A16z were scheduled to meet this week with government leaders.

Although Coinbase’s vision is similar to Andreessen Horowitz’s, there are some subtle differences. It focuses more on digital assets. While the a16z recommended collaboration among regulatory agencies, Coinbase stated in its policy document that only one regulator should regulate digital asset markets.

Faryar Shirzad, Chief Policy Officer at Coinbase, told CNBC that his team wanted to create a bold plan in order to stimulate discussion.

Shirzad explained that “we started where many people begin, which was taking the existing multitude of regulators and trying out to figure what minimal surgery we could do to make everything work.” “And then there was a point at which, maybe three to four weeks ago, where we just kind of looked at each other, we said it takes more effort to try to adapt the current system which is predicated on an old market structure — more intellectual effort I would say — than it does starting from scratch.”

Although he acknowledged the fact that creating a new agency wasn’t an easy path, he said they were open to a wider discussion.

He stated that he believed that the proposal was only the beginning of a discussion and that the final result made it clear that there were no compromises on core principles that people (and policymakers) should consider.

Shirzad stated that they have already spoken to about 30 lawmaker offices and several agencies regarding aspects of their proposal. Shirzad stated that the Capitol Hill feedback has been positive so far.

Coinbase stated in its policy report that they want a “clear, comprehensive approach to digital asset regulation, and that regulations that are fit for purpose.” The report stated that technology should be recognized as a benefit to the public, and that it is currently “behind other countries” in creating digital asset regulations.

“Absent taking similar steps,” Coinbase wrote, referencing the “unified approach” to digital assets taken by the U.K., European Union and Signapore, “the United States is at risk of becoming a ‘taker’ of regulation as opposed to the primary ‘shaper’ of modern financial services — a position the United States has long occupied.”

This company has divided its ideas into four main pillars.

  • A new regulatory framework that separates digital assets from traditional financial systems should be created.
  • The responsibility of regulating digital markets is given to one federal agency. A non-government self regulation organization will also be created. This would mirror the traditional market system.
  • Digital asset owners should be protected from market manipulation fraud.
  • Encourage fair competition between products and interoperability.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

WATCH: El Salvador mines bitcoin with volcanoes in latest crypto push

Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.