In an op-ed for CNBC, Coinbase Founder Brian Armstrong argues that the U.S. government needs to work with crypto companies, not against them, to build the future of finance.
- CEO Armstrong warns that offshoring crypto could be a setback for American innovation, much like how the semiconductor industry moving offshores has resulted in supply-chain shortages.
- As the country faces economic challenges from rival countries like China, Armstrong argues that crypto, digital currency, and blockchain technologies offer ways to help the U.S. maintain its position as a global leader in finance.
- Armstrong advocates a forward-looking approach to crypto policies that allow the U.S. to be at the cutting edge of blockchain technology innovation.
Why It’s Important
Cryptocurrency remains in an awkward position. Currency valuations peaked for major cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum in November 2021, but the crypto winter cooled prices through 2022 and precipitated the crash of dozens of major exchanges—including Terraform Labs, Celsius, Voyager, Three Arrows Capital, and FTX. This volatility and fears of widespread crypto fraud have led to calls from the White House, the Department of Justice, the SEC, the Federal Reserve, and Congress to crack down on crypto.
Armstrong’s advocacy reflects a more optimistic view of the crypto economy and its potential, believing that the technology is faster, more efficient, and more innovative than regulators give it credit for and that the adverse consequences of cracking down on crypto could be severe.
“America is at a once-in-a-generation inflection point: we have the opportunity to be the leader in the digital-currency space and reap the benefits this leadership enshrines, or we can concede our leadership role to geopolitical adversaries who are eager to take the mantle as the 21st century’s global heavyweight,” says Armstrong.
As we previously reported, analysts are offering mixed predictions about the future of crypto. ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood remains unusually bullish on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, leaning heavily into the market and buying shares of CoinBase in her prediction that the market will rebound. Leading crypto evangelists like Peter Thiel have alternatively bought out of the market.
“By embracing crypto and other forms of digital finance, the U.S. can not only update its financial system but also solidify its status as a geopolitical powerhouse. Not only would this provide access to the dollar to millions of the previously unbanked and underbanked people, but it would also be the de facto digital currency for remittances and international currency transfers, ensuring that the dollar remains the global reserve currency both on and off-chain,” says Armstrong.