Coinbase CEO hints leaving the U.S. for UK is ‘on the table’
- Coinbase CEO said relocating the exchange’s headquarters to the UK is possible if the U.S. regulatory situation doesn’t improve.
- The CEO also added that the UK is its second-largest market in terms of revenue and praised the crypto regulation in the region.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said that relocating the exchange’s headquarters to the United Kingdom is “on the table” if the regulatory situation in the United States does not improve.
Armstrong was speaking at FinTech Week, which is running from 17 April to 21 April in London. In his address to the audience, he said that due to a challenging business environment in the U.S., the company may consider relocating elsewhere. He emphasized that “anything is on the table.”
“The U.K. is our second-largest market in terms of revenue. We’re founded in the US, and I think the US has the potential to be an important market in crypto – but right now, we’re not seeing the regulatory clarity we need.”
The Coinbase CEO took time away from the event to meet and advise UK MPs. “The UK is moving fast on sensible crypto regulation to both drive economic growth AND consumer protection,” he tweeted.
Great meeting today with UK Economic Secretary and City Minister @griffitha.
The UK is moving fast on sensible crypto regulation to both drive economic growth AND consumer protection. Excited to keep investing in the UK. ?? pic.twitter.com/478PQSLmDe
— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) April 17, 2023
Armstrong also wrote in a blog that things are happening in Europe that are propelling the continent forward in terms of integrating the digital economy, mentioning the upcoming Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) legislation that is up for a vote this week as an example.
Armstrong, however, dismissed the prospect of a quick exit from the United States, stating that this is only an option if regulatory certainty in the U.S. is not achieved in “a number of years.”
Crypto industry battles regulatory action in the U.S.
Since at least before 2020, U.S. authorities have had a tumultuous relationship with crypto firms. However, the number of enforcement operations increased in 2023. This caused many to assume that the officials were launching a clandestine war on crypto.
Coinbase announced on 22 March that the exchange has received a Wells Notice from the SEC. The notice warned them of pending enforcement action over its spot trading platforms, Coinbase Earn, Coinbase Prime, and Coinbase Wallet.
On the other hand, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse stated in April that regulatory action would only serve to drive technology and innovation away. Ripple, according to Garlinghouse, would “leave the United States entirely” if it lost the pending SEC action.