Coinbase proposes new crypto regulator in the US

Karthik Subramanian

Coinbase released a new policy paper yesterday in which it proposed the setup of a new and separate crypto regulator to look into the regulation and control of digital assets and associated businesses in what is seen as a gentle nudge to the SEC.

The release of the policy papers comes a day after the release of a similar paper by Andreessen Horowitz in which they had advocated close cooperation between the various regulatory bodies to come up with laws and regulations to regulate the various digital asset businesses and also have a strong oversight on them. This is a bit different from what Coinbase has advocated as it had pushed for a separate and independent regulator for the internet and digital assets which will not fall within the purview of the SEC as it believes that the digital assets should be treated as a separate and different instrument from stocks. This line of thinking is similar to what the rest of the crypto industry believes as they would like to be treated and classified in a manner different from real-world stocks, commodities, and other instruments.

“We started where a lot of people start, which is taking the existing multiplicity of regulators and trying to figure out what minimal surgery you could do to make things work,” Coinbase Chief Policy Officer Faryar Shirzad said. “And then there was a point at which, maybe three to four weeks ago, where we just kind of looked at each other [and] 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 start from scratch.”

The company also warned that the US might be left behind in this digital revolution if it fails to adapt quickly to the changes and pushes ahead with certainly on the legal aspects of overseeing digital assets. It also said that the US had always been at the forefront of adopting new technology and leading the world in shaping regulations and if it wishes to continue to do so, then it has to push ahead with these reforms. The company felt that changing the existing laws to suit the digital assets space would be too cumbersome and delay the process and hence it felt that the creation of an entirely new body would help to make the process easier and quicker.

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