- The Binance settlement marks a turning point for the crypto industry, allowing it to move past scandals according to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.
- Armstrong says illicit crypto activity is less than 1% based on Coinbase data, pushing back on criticism that crypto is mainly for illegal uses.
- With clearer regulations, Armstrong believes more institutional investment will flow into compliant crypto companies like Coinbase.
Armstrong’s Thoughts on the Settlement
In an interview with CNBC, Armstrong said the enforcement action against Binance is “allowing us to kind of turn the page on that and hopefully close that chapter of history.” While many crypto companies are still small startups, Armstrong said regulatory clarity will help bring in more investment.
Details of the Binance Settlement
Last week, Binance was hit with a $4 billion settlement by the U.S. Department of Justice. As part of the settlement, Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao stepped down and pleaded guilty to money laundering violations. The government accused Binance of violating the Bank Secrecy Act and breaching sanctions on Iran.
Armstrong Pushes Back on Crypto Criticisms
Armstrong pushed back on the idea that crypto is mainly used for illegal activity like fraud, money laundering, and terrorist financing. He said illicit crypto activity is less than 1% based on Coinbase’s data. He conceded some players like FTX have been “bad actors,” but they are not representative of the whole industry.
Armstrong’s Outlook on Regulation and Growth
Armstrong said he feels “very good” about Coinbase’s chances fighting a lawsuit from the SEC. He also disputed the idea that regulation is forcing crypto companies offshore, saying Coinbase is still investing in the U.S. Armstrong said he’s impressed with the UK’s leadership on crypto regulation and that Coinbase is investing more in the UK as a result.
The historic settlement against Binance marks a turning point for the crypto industry’s reputation and growth, according to Armstrong. With clearer regulation, he believes more institutional investment will flow into compliant crypto companies.