With Coinbase on the verge of a legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company has emphasized that the US government’s hawkish approach to cryptocurrency regulation has “left a vacuum that other countries are eager to fill.” On March 22, the SEC issued a wells notice to Coinbase, stating that SEC staff had recommended that the agency take enforcement action regarding “possible violations of securities laws” involving some of the firm’s asset listings, staking services, and Coinbase Wallet.
Europe is winning, according to a March 23 blog post. Will the United States catch up? Despite industry-wide calls for “comprehensive crypto regulation,” Coinbase’s Vice President and Regional Managing Director in Europe, Daniel Seifert, emphasized that the United States’ “regulatory approach to crypto has been marked by regulation by enforcement.”
“In the crypto industry, this approach has created an environment of uncertainty and instability,” he wrote.
As a result, Seifert argued that the United States is losing its position as the leading hub of the crypto sector, while France, the United Kingdom, and the European Union are now developing “vibrant” ecosystems as a result of their friendlier approach to crypto regulation.
“The United States has left a void that other countries are eager to fill,” he wrote, adding, “We are proud to be an American company.” It’s difficult to watch the United States squander an opportunity.”
Seifert emphasized the significance of the Blockchain Week event, which will be held this month at the Louvre in Paris. He also mentioned the United Kingdom’s recent push to become a crypto hub, as well as the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation, which is set to take effect in 2024.
“This year it’s being held in a private space at the Louvre, arguably France’s greatest national treasure and one of the world’s most respected museums,” he explained, adding, “To me, this is a clear signal: France is rapidly recognizing the opportunity that crypto presents and is providing space for it to flourish.” The rest of the EU, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and Japan are all following suit.” MiCA legislation has been in the works for two years, with the goal of creating a “harmonized set of rules for crypto-assets and related activities and services.”
It is widely anticipated that this will be a positive step for the European cryptocurrency ecosystem, as it will provide clear rules and guidelines for the sector. “We are already seeing that Europe has surpassed the United States in terms of crypto developers (29% each globally).” “The United States used to lead the charge with 40%,” he said, adding, “This level of growth does not happen by accident.” Efforts must be made in concert, such as the development of a regulatory framework that will provide clarity and stability to businesses operating in the space.”
The Crypto Council for Innovation made similar points to Seifert in a lengthy March 23 Twitter thread, noting that “crypto is global, and nobody is waiting for the US to land the plane.” The thread discussed positive developments from around the world, including the National Australia Bank’s work with non-USD pegged stablecoins, Hong Kong’s efforts to become a digital asset hub, and the Canadian Securities Administration’s recent imposition of “enhanced investor protection commitments” on domestic crypto exchanges.