Coinbase Secures License in Bermuda for its New Offshore Entity
According to a blog post from Wednesday, April 19th, the publicly-traded cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase recently secured a license in Bermuda for its planned offshore expansion. The plans for a new trading company were first revealed in mid-March shortly after the exchange received a Wells notice from the SEC and Coinbase has only upscaled its plans for non-US expansion since.
Coinbase Secures License in Bermuda
In a blog post published on Wednesday, Coinbase revealed it had secured a Class F License under the Digital Asset Business Act from the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA). According to the announcement, the license is a part of the exchange’s broader plan for global expansion with the aim of establishing “regulated entities and local operations in high-bar regulatory jurisdictions abroad to focus on international growth”.
The announcement is in line with Coinbase’s recent rhetoric about the US becoming a far less important market for cryptocurrencies due to regulatory pressure and uncertainty. The company’s CEO, Brian Armstrong, even recently hinted that his exchange is considering relocating its headquarters from the United States.
The sharp change in attitude came shortly after Coinbase received a Wells notice from the SEC warning that the agency is considering an enforcement action due to the alleged listing of unregistered securities. The first hint that Coinbase is looking to seriously increase its international presence came in mid-March when it was revealed the exchange is looking to open a trading company at an unspecified location outside the US.
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Are Cryptocurrency Companies Exiting the US
American regulators—primarily the SEC—have long been the target of criticism from digital assets companies, the crypto community, and cryptocurrency-friendly politicians. Already in the summer of 2022, Representative Tom Emmer likened the SEC to “shakedown authority” when it comes to digital assets. The voices of dissent became increasingly numerous over the past months as the Commission increased its pressure on firms widely considered the “good actors” within the industry.
Additionally, several companies have cited the current regulatory climate in the country as the main reason behind departing the US market. In December, the UK-based Nexo even stated that the seemingly ever-changing rulebook agencies like the SEC are using is “creating an impossible environment to operate efficiently and to create the expected value for our clients.”
More recently, after first announcing the departure from the US, and then getting sued by the SEC, Bittrex stated that, despite the SEC’s claims, it has never broken securities laws and accused Chair Gary Gensler of being on a “crusade” against cryptocurrencies in America. Additionally, several representatives have repeatedly voiced their concern that apart from driving individual firms from the country, the aggressive regulatory approach will significantly harm innovation in the US. Congressman Warren Davidson even recently went so far as to call for the restructuring of the SEC and the removal of Gary Gensler from his position.
Do you think Coinbase will significantly reduce its presence in the US due to regulatory pressure? Let us know in the comments below.