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In absence of crypto clarity from D.C., Coinbase plans to release its own regulatory framework

October 12, 2021, 11:07 PM UTC

Coinbase wants some rules of the road.

To that end the cryptocurrency exchange is currently drafting some of its own ideas to provide to Washington, D.C.

Fresh off a spat with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over a digital asset lending product it planned to roll out, Coinbase president and COO Emilie Choi said the company is preparing to release a proposal for how the federal government should oversee the sprawling and ever-changing crypto markets.

“The U.S. has had such a rich history of entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Choi, who spoke Tuesday at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit. “And what we’re feeling right now is that there’s this paranoia around crypto, because it’s not as easily understood.”

It is widely anticipated that cryptocurrency regulation is coming to the U.S., it’s just a matter of when.

Washington, D.C., has sent signal after signal for months now that it is preparing a suite of different reforms, crackdowns, and studies to beef up the sprawling and wild crypto markets’ investor protections. Yet, with little clarity as to how or when, exchanges, traders, and investors have all grown anxious about what’s to come, with some even leaving the country as a result, Choi noted.

Coinbase, like other crypto companies operating in the U.S., does report to a hodgepodge of agencies already. It has taken time for that interwoven quilt of regulators to piece together a cohesive framework, though. SEC Chair Gary Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs executive who equated the crypto markets to the “Wild West” earlier this year, has asked Congress for some clarity about how financial regulators should be working on crypto together, while indicating that the SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission are already doing so. However, even when the SEC and other agencies do decide how to move forward, it will likely still be a months-long process to get the rules proposed and finalized—whatever they may be.

How much Coinbase’s proposal will align with the views of regulators and lawmakers, many of whom have raised a flood of concerns about the digital asset world, remains to be seen. But Choi said the exchange is ready for regulation.

“We want to be treated on an even playing ground as other financial services institutions,” Choi said. “We want transparency.”

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