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Coinbase Calls for Single Regulator to Oversee Crypto Markets

In brief Coinbase called for a single "digital first' regulator to oversee the crypto industry. The proposal may amount to wishful thinking given the current state of Washington, D.C.

Coinbase issued a proposal on Thursday for a new crypto regulatory regime that would see the U.S. replace the patchwork of agencies overseeing the industry with a newly-formed single federal regulator.

The call for a single regulator was one of four pillars that Coinbase says should inform the government's approach to crypto oversight, which were set out in a document titled "Digital Asset Policy Proposal."

"[The new regulator's] authority would include a new registration process established for marketplaces for digital assets (MDAs) and appropriate disclosures to inform purchasers of digital assets," said the document, which also called for the new regulatory regime to include a self-regulating body like those found in other industries.

Coinbase's proposal comes at a time of unprecedented scrutiny of the crypto industry in Washington, DC and growing exasperation from Coinbase and others at the slow place and complexity that has characterized the crypto regulatory process—a process that has seen federal agencies like the SEC and CFTC squabble over jurisdiction, and a flurry of investigations by state regulators as well.

In a briefing with reporters, Coinbase's Chief Policy Officer Faryar Shirzad described the existing regulatory regime as a "legacy" one based on an era of paper, and said a new "digital native" regulator was necessary to help U.S. companies and consumers reap the benefit of blockchain technology. He added that Bitcoin and Ethereum should be largely exempt from regulatory activity given how decentralized they have become.

Shirzad also suggested that projects that issue tokens on decentralized exchanges might be outside regulators' scope, but that these tokens would be subject to oversight if they became available on "marketp...

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