Thursday, 21 December 2023
by Rose White
Brian Armstrong, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the San Francisco-based crypto exchange Coinbase has challenged the United States Senators’ approach toward the cryptocurrency sector in the country.
Brain Armstrong recently took to X (formerly Twitter) to express his displeasure with some US senators’ stance on crypto. According to him, politicians in the US pursuing reelection in 2024 should not strategically adopt a hard line on cryptocurrency.
The Coinbase CEO’s post came in response to a short video of US Senator Roger Marshall speaking in a parliamentary intelligence-security forum. Marshall acknowledged during the forum that the “crypto ban” bill, known as the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, was influenced by the American Bankers Association (ABA).
The Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act was initiated in December 2022, which sought to subject cryptocurrency technology to stringent banking laws in the US, which also include validators, mining pools, and noncustodial wallets.
In the X post, the CEO has highlighted five reasons why he believes the approach is “bad for politicians seeking to go forward in 2024.”
The first reason states that over 52 million US citizens are currently holding crypto. For the second reason, Armstrong noted that around 38% of the younger citizens believe that crypto can boost economic opportunities. He also added that approximately 9% of Americans are satisfied with the current financial system.
The fourth reason given by the Coinbase CEO is that the year-to-date prices of cryptos are up by 90%. Meanwhile, he stated in the last reason that the Stand With Crypto Alliance is on its way to 1 million advocates, who want prudent crypto regulations.
Armstrong did not reference any sources for the data he mentioned. However, it appears that most of the figures are from an October 2023 Coinbase report.
The United States Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is well-known for taking a hard stand against cryptocurrency assets, including Bitcoin (BTC), initially introduced the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act which has become known as the “crypto ban” bill.
The “Crypto ban” bill has already gained support from five more senators, three of whom are Banking Committee members. In addition, it has also received support from the US banking advocacy group, the Bank Policy Institute.
On December 11, Senator Warren asserted the act aims to close loopholes and bring the digital asset ecosystem into “greater compliance” with the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) frameworks. This is because these frameworks oversee much of the traditional financial system.
So far, Neeraj K. Agrawal, the Director of Communications at Coin Center has also expressed his displease in the act. He stated that it is a “straightforward attack” on technological progress and also a “direct attack” on personal privacy and autonomy.
However, one of the senators supporting the bill, Senator Van Hollen contended that it is essential to safeguard against illegal actions that are “facilitated” by cryptocurrencies. These include money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
He believes that to “protect consumers” and uphold the integrity of the financial system, cryptocurrency must be subject to similar transparency regulations and protections as traditional banks.