Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has reportedly said United States lawmakers have a renewed focus on regulatory clarity in the crypto space following talks with key officials.
According to a July 24 Axios report, Armstrong met with U.S. lawmakers on July 20 ahead of discussions and votes on pieces of legislation aimed at providing regulatory clarity on digital assets. The Coinbase CEO reportedly said the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) lawsuit against Ripple — in which a court said the XRP token largely did not qualify as a security — “drove a lot of urgency” among members of Congress.
“Rep. Patrick McHenry is very much committed to getting legislation,” said Armstrong. “Maxine Waters is looking at it deeply, as far as I can tell […] I think the Ripple case drove a lot of urgency. Same with these bitcoin ETF filings that we’ve been seeing recently from Blackrock, Fidelity, and major financial services firms.”
There are several draft bills on crypto and blockchain currently being discussed in the House of Representatives and Senate, including the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, Responsible Financial Innovation Act, Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, and Digital Asset Market Structure bill. According to Armstrong, the SEC. v. Ripple ruling was creating “optimism that shouldn’t be underestimated”, pushing lawmakers to consider a legislative path forward rather than relying on court decisions.
Coinbase faces its own lawsuit from the SEC, which charged the crypto exchange for alleged violations of securities laws in June following a March Wells notice. Many Coinbase executives have publicly pushed back against the allegations and claimed the commission was operating on a ‘regulation by enforcement’ approach to crypto.
In May, Coinbase announced that it planned to organize a July 19 ‘Stand for Crypto Day’ in Washington DC — seemingly a rally or protest aimed at persuading members of Congress to support crypto-friendly policies. Though Armstrong was in the nation’s capital city at roughly the same time, the lack of related activity on Coinbase’s social media channels suggested the event may not have occurred, or was a different approach than had been hinted.