A top executive at digital asset exchange giant Coinbase says that the US government is squandering its global lead in technology due to its hesitance to create clear crypto guidelines.
Coinbase’s chief legal officer Paul Grewal says that other countries are making headway while regulators in the US are locked up in years-long legal battles over crypto assets.
“While Americans continue to wait for sensible rules for crypto, other countries are not sitting around. By relying on threats and years-long court battles, we are squandering yet another lead in technology. Is that really what this country wants, once again?”
Previously, Grewal said on the Unchained podcast that if a company like Coinbase can be targeted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), then so can other crypto firms.
“This is not just a fight for Coinbase, this is a fight for all crypto. If responsible actors with serious AML [anti-money laundering] and KYC [know your customer] programs, publicly listed, that are filing petitions for rulemaking and attempting to engage with the government can be treated in this fashion, nobody else is safe either.”
Recently, the US-based crypto exchange received a Wells Notice from the SEC. The notice says the agency has made a “preliminary determination” to recommend the agency file an enforcement action against Coinbase for allegedly violating securities laws.
According to Grewal, the Wells Notice is a “massive overreach” on the part of the SEC.
Grewal also said that the SEC has provided no relevant information to Coinbase on how to be compliant with regulations despite meeting with them dozens times over the last nine months.
“Just to give you some sense of the conversations that predated the [Wells] notice, we have met with the SEC on at least 30 occasions over the last nine months to try to get to some common understanding of what registration could look like for a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase…
We have essentially hit a brick wall.”
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