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Is Coinbase Planning to Leave the US With its New Bermuda License?

Coinbase announced on April 19 that it had secured a regulatory authorization to operate from the Bermuda Monetary Authority. The move was part of an effort to modernize the company’s “global scale to go broad and deep.”

Furthermore, the new license clearance comes at a time when the crypto industry is facing a huge regulatory crackdown in the United States. Bermuda, according to the business, was one of the first financial centers to pass full digital asset regulation in 2018. “Its regulatory environment is long known for a high level of rigor, transparency, compliance, and cooperation,” it noted.

Coinbase stated that it chose Bermuda because the BMA is a well-known and experienced financial regulator. It further stated that it was a member of several international organizations and had close contacts with other regulatory bodies worldwide.

The decision comes as US banking regulators step up their enforcement actions against cryptocurrency companies. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued Coinbase a Wells notice, which is a warning of impending legal action, in late March.

CEO Brian Armstrong expressed his dissatisfaction with the existing scenario earlier this week during Fintech Week in London. In terms of a possible relocation, he stated, “Anything is on the table, including relocating or whatever is necessary.”

“I believe that if we don’t see regulatory clarity emerge in the United States over the next few years, we may have to consider investing more in other parts of the world.”

Furthermore, he praised the United Kingdom for “moving quickly on sensible crypto regulation.” However, Britain’s banks have other plans and continue to hinder cryptocurrency startups.

Armstrong echoed the sentiments of the crypto sector in early March. He cautioned that if the SEC continues to carpet bomb the business, there will be an exodus of innovation and skill. Fortune reported this week that Coinbase intends to start an offshore derivatives market in Bermuda as soon as next week.

It went on to say that opening an offshore exchange in Bermuda would allow Coinbase to compete with Binance. Coinbase stock (COIN) has performed strongly this year, exceeding Bitcoin (BTC) so far in 2023 by 89%. In comparison, BTC prices have risen 75% since the start of the year.

 

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