After Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong met with Andrew Griffith, UK’s Economic Secretary and City Minister, on Monday, April 17th, his company published a statement describing the United Kingdom as a “web3 innovation hub”. In the blog post, the cryptocurrency exchange reaffirms the importance of the country, as well as the rest of the EU to its global strategy, and outlines its hopes for the future of DeFi in the region.
Coinbase Describes UK as a “Web3 Innovation Hub”
After its CEO Brian Armstrong met with Andrew Griffith, UK’s Economic Secretary and City Minister, Coinbase published a blog post titled “The UK as a Web3 innovation hub”. In the document, the cryptocurrency exchange explains the importance of the United Kingdom and the European Union for its strategy and makes a brief outline of its hopes for the region.
According to the post, Coinbase is hoping—broadly speaking—that banks will prove willing to cooperate with FinTech companies in order to foster digital assets innovation, and that the UK will quickly create a regulatory framework that is both blockchain-friendly and ensures protection for investors. Armstrong is scheduled to talk about the plans in more detail on April 18th.
The UK has been working to explore and help develop a framework for digital assets, both in the form of CBDCs and other cryptocurrencies. Last week, Bank of England’s Bailey expressed his belief that such assets are likely to play a crucial role in the monetary system of the future. Additionally, Coinbase has already commented positively on the developments in the UK, most recently when considering where to headquarter its new offshore trading firm.
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Coinbase Warns US Is Driving Innovators Out
Already at the first-ever hearing of the Subcommittee for Digital Assets, Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer, Paul Grewal, spoke about his concerns that the aggressive stance of regulators in the US may cause the country to lose its innovative edge. The warnings coming from the cryptocurrency exchange only became louder after it had received a Wells notice warning that the SEC is considering an enforcement action over the alleged offering of unregistered securities.
Similar concerns have been coming both from within and from without the digital assets industry for a long time. Notably, Representative Tom Emmer called the SEC a “shakedown authority” when it comes to cryptocurrencies already last summer. More recently, Commissioner Hester Peirce warned that her agency’s actions are scaring away innovators rather than helping them develop in a way beneficial for the country and for the investors.
This Monday, the cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex also reiterated the same point in a statement it published mere hours after getting hit by an SEC enforcement action. Furthermore, while we have yet to see a mass exodus from the US due to aggressive regulatory actions, several major companies including Bittrex and Nexo have already decided to leave the country.
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About the author
Tim Fries is the cofounder of The Tokenist. He has a B. Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Tim served as a Senior Associate on the investment team at RW Baird’s US Private Equity division, and is also the co-founder of Protective Technologies Capital, an investment firm specializing in sensing, protection and control solutions.