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SEC was the only regulator not willing to meet with Coinbase: Brian Armstrong

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong claims that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission is the only government branch that is unwilling to meet with the firm.

Speaking on Anthony Pompliano’s Best Business Show on Friday, Armstrong said that during his visit to Washington after Coinbase went public in April, the SEC was the “only regulator” that refused to meet with him:

“I reached out to the SEC. I tried to get a meeting with them. They told me that they weren’t meeting with any crypto companies.”

“I was kind of surprised by that because there are so many different regulators out there. Every single one has been willing to meet with us and every other branch of government,” he added.

Armstrong highlighted his firm’s issues with the SEC’s approach earlier this month when he revealed the enforcement body had threatened to sue the firm if it launched its USD Coin (USDC) lending program that offered 4% annual yields. Despite other firms already offering similar services, he said the SEC refused to give the green light as it deemed the program to be a security but provided no explanation on how it came to that conclusion.

During the interview with Pompliano, the Coinbase CEO noted that the SEC has not changed its tune since then, and he said it hadn’t even placed a phone call to the firm. Armstrong asked:

“How are they protecting consumers in this case? I think a lot of consumers demonstrably have wanted to earn higher yields on their savings accounts. They’re not really getting those products from the existing financial services.”

“So, that was one open question. And then the second one was, ‘How are they creating a level playing field?’” he added.

Armstrong said Coinbase had considered taking the SEC to court but decided that it was not worth a lengthy legal battle, not least because “there’s a lot of deference given to regulators in the court system.”

The firm has now walked back its plans to launch the...

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