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Coinbase Releases A Digital Asset Policy Proposal for Congress

Coinbase, a highly popular cryptocurrency exchange, is taking steps to advance the regulatory conversation in the United States. The company just released a 30-page policy proposal with suggestions on how policymakers should address the industry. Experts, opinion leaders, and government officials across the country have contributed to its development.

‘Safeguarding America’s Financial Leadership’

The proposal, ‘Safeguarding America’s Financial Leadership,’ was revealed in a Coinbase blog post on Thursday. Though the entire proposal is reasonably dense, the blog post offers a summary of its contents.
It begins by framing the industry as a nascent but innovative “evolution of the internet” that “empower unique economic use-cases.” Also, it highlights how crypto promotes financial inclusion, is growing in popularity, and can strengthen the United State’s geopolitical strength.
Coinbase argues that the revolutionary nature of this new asset class requires a new policy framework adapted to the present:

“Laws drafted in the 1930s to facilitate effective oversight of our financial system could not contemplate this technological revolution. Elements of those laws do not have room for the transformational potential that digital assets and crypto innovation make possible. “

Next, the company recommends designating a single federal body to focus exclusively on digital asset markets. This is to avoid “fragmented and inconsistent” oversight from existing institutions with undefined responsibilities. Recently, the Biden administration considered solving this problem by appointing a cryptocurrency czar– though this hasn’t been decided yet.

Thirdly, the proposal advocates for a framework protecting crypto holders from fraud while empowering digital asset use cases. Finally, it requests interoperability and fair competition with digital asset marketplaces to spur innovation in the space.

Coinbase Searches for Clarity

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is an established critic of the SEC and other financial regulators’ performance in regulating crypto. Last month, the CEO saw a long-planned Coinbase lending product canceled after the threat of an SEC lawsuit. Weeks earlier, he blasted the commission for being difficult and uncooperative in finding a legal path forward for his exchange.

In response, it would seem that the company is taking the initiative and establishing its own recommended set of rules. This would mirror the vision Hester Peirce laid out for the crypto industry last week. She believes that private institutions in space have the knowledge and ability to regulate themselves, arguably better than public bodies. She also pressed SEC chairman Gary Gensler on his exact intentions with his regulatory approach until now.

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