Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong, has expressed his belief that the recent settlement between Binance and the U.S. Department of Justice signifies a turning point for the crypto industry in addressing the issue of bad actors. In an interview with CNBC International at the Global Investment Summit in London, Armstrong stated, “There certainly have been a few bad actors in crypto and I think we’ve had a moment recently with the enforcement action against Binance that’s allowing us to turn the page on that and close that chapter of crypto’s history”.
Furthermore, Armstrong highlighted the significance of the enforcement actions taken against Binance and FTX, noting that these cases demonstrate that attempting to conduct business offshore does not yield positive results. While Binance is based in Hong Kong and primarily operates in the Asia Pacific region, FTX was headquartered in the Bahamas. Armstrong emphasized, “Sometimes it’s easy to get big fast by skirting the rules but you’ll always come crashing back down to reality,” and asserted the importance of U.S.-based companies that have consistently complied with regulations to continue growing.
Although Coinbase is facing its own legal battles with U.S. regulators regarding allegations of operating as an unregistered broker, exchange, and clearing agency simultaneously, Armstrong expressed confidence in the outcome of the case and its potential contribution to regulatory clarity in the U.S.
Despite Coinbase’s efforts to expand into other jurisdictions, Armstrong reiterated the company’s dedication to its U.S. business, which he identified as its second-largest market. Armstrong stated, “We started the company in the U.S. and we’re committed to staying there and we’re going to grow there because it’s a big market.”
Lastly, Armstrong emphasized the significance of launching a spot Bitcoin ETF, referring to it as a monumental milestone for the industry. He believes that such an ETF would attract new sources of capital into the crypto market, legitimizing the industry as a whole.