- Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, speaks on crypto’s increasing significance in the U.S. 2024 elections.
- Approximately 56 million Americans have dabbled in cryptocurrencies, more than electric car owners.
- Presidential contenders have begun sharing their views on crypto, with a divide emerging on central bank digital currencies.
Diving into the financial world’s latest buzz, Brian Armstrong, the top man at Coinbase, recently shed light on the underestimated might of crypto enthusiasts in the political scene, especially in the looming 2024 U.S. elections. He believes that political circles in Washington are potentially not giving the due weight to this rapidly growing segment of voters.
During a conversation with Yahoo Finance, Armstrong highlighted a staggering figure – nearly 56 million U.S. citizens have had some interaction with cryptocurrencies. To put this in perspective, this number surpasses those who have jumped on the electric car bandwagon. Drawing from this, Armstrong strongly believes that the next elections will witness cryptocurrency as a dominant theme, with political candidates being pressed on their views and intentions.
Notably, the position on crypto and digital currencies of some of the top contenders for the presidential seat has become public knowledge. Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis has come forward with his intent to block the advent of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) if he’s elected to the presidency. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. too, has raised an eyebrow at the thought of a digital U.S. dollar, mainly due to its potential impact on individual privacy. Both, however, seem to lean in favor of the broader crypto sector.
An intriguing analysis by Grayscale, a leading crypto asset management company, suggests that the White House could soon be occupied by someone receptive to CBDCs. The report indicates both Joe Biden and Donald Trump, the two leading figures in the presidential race, showing an openness to the idea of CBDCs.
Coinbase, where Armstrong leads, has consistently been at the forefront, working diligently in Washington. Their aim? To shape clear and understandable regulations for the world of crypto. Currently, Congress is mulling over bills from both sides of the aisle that might just lay down the groundwork for comprehensive cryptocurrency regulations across the U.S.
To add another layer to the ongoing narrative, Armstrong discussed potential changes at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He hints at a future where Gary Gensler might pass the baton to a new chairperson. This discussion gains relevance given the recent lawsuit filed by the SEC against Coinbase earlier in June, in which they alleged that some tokens on Coinbase should fall under the category of securities.
SEC Pursues Wider Crypto Oversight
Back in July, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) hinted at its intention to regulate a larger portion of the cryptocurrency market when it suggested that Coinbase, a major crypto exchange, halt the trade of all tokens except for bitcoin. This came to light when Coinbase’s CEO, Brian Armstrong, spoke to the Financial Times about the SEC’s recommendations before they pursued legal action against the exchange. The SEC’s lawsuit pinpointed 13 lesser-known cryptocurrencies available on Coinbase, labeling them as securities.
This designation implied that Coinbase’s operations should fall within the regulatory jurisdiction of the SEC. The significant point of contention is that the SEC seemed to be aiming for more comprehensive control over the crypto sector under the leadership of Gary Gensler. Armstrong’s viewpoint is that if Coinbase had complied with the SEC’s request, it would have risked setting a precedent.