Cryptocurrency has a bipartisan appeal in Alabama, Coinbase policy expert says – ‘Crypto users in Alabama are really strong’

18 views 11:42 am 0 Comments April 12, 2024

Crypto based currency has experienced a massive global increase in popularity over the past several years. The growth of the digitized form of payment has transformed markets the world over.

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States in terms of trading volume, is a product of that rapid growth.

A Mobile based podcast, Beyond the Blockchain, recently invited the Senior Manager of U.S. policy for the company, Ashley Gunn, on to discuss the crypto economy and the corporation’s future.

Scott Tindle, host of the podcast, asked Gunn if there is anything going on in Alabama that the company is specifically paying attention to.

“First, we want to say Alabama is a great state for us,” replied Gunn. “The Crypto users in Alabama are really strong. We’ve actually seen some data that was released that basically says that 18% of Alabama adults own or transact in crypto, which is honestly higher than I was expecting.”

“That’s not just Coinbase, that’s across the entire crypto economy. 18% of your population, which is great.”

Gunn believes that crypto is a bipartisan issue in Alabama.

“Based on this research, we saw that 38% of that group are Democrats, 38% are Republicans, and 20% are independent.”

“I think sometimes people think crypto falls one way or the other on the political spectrum.”

Tindle then directed the conversation towards regulation and the possibility of regulatory overreach in the crypto industry.

“When I talk to people individually, crypto interests people across the political spectrum,” said Tindle. “Therefore, you’re gonna see this divide in what is regulatory permissible and what is overreaching. This is gonna be a great conversation and an important conversation over the next few years.”

“On this show we talk about AI. We talk about machine learning. We talk about a whole lot of different things that all need some version of regulation, but crypto and blockchain is more developed,” Tindle noted.

“It is more sophisticated and it’s more matured then those other two. So we’re going to see regulation there first probably and it’s just going to be about what is the most appropriate version.”

Tindle asked Gunn to articulate on Coinbase’s position regarding regulation.

Gunn replied that the company is “very pro regulation.”

“We’ve long advocated for regulation. Again, I think it goes back to what I was saying before is, you know, we are worried about our own enforcement risk. It’s no secret that Coinbase is being sued by the SEC right now.”

“Having more clarity about what the regulation would look like helps eliminate some of that enforcement risk,” Gunn said.

She also said that possible SEC fines could have a disproportionate impact on smaller companies.

“But again, we’re also concerned about the small players and the enforcement risk. For the small players there if they get hit with an SEC fine, they’re going to be put out of business.”

“We see our mission as finding that proper, tailored regulatory environment that, you know, allows for these companies to innovate, but obviously doesn’t go too far into the regulatory overreach that you’re talking about.”

Tindle said that to attract more people to crypto, regulations are needed.

“A lot of what we talk about on the show is there’s got to be some form of balance. If there’s some form of regulation, people feel more security and for the industry to continue to develop we’ve got to onboard people who may not be crypto natives or blockchain natives.”

He then touched on Exchanged Traded Funds and their role in crypto.

“I think the Exchanged Traded Funds (ETF) are helping with that now that people get to invest add exposure to Bitcoin through some of these ETFs. They use their 401 K’s, their financial advisors and that starts to make a difference.”

“Do you think we’re going to see more of that with future ETFs being developed and more exposure being monetized through financial advisors? Or is that anything on your radar at all?”

Gunn elaborated on the development and role of ETF’s in the world of crypto.

“Coinbase’s ultimate mission, and it all goes credit to our to our CEO, Brian Armstrong, who had a vision for this,  to provide economic freedom for the world,” Gunn said.

“If that’s through an ETF, that’s great. We have seen a lot more adoption through the ETF. I think there’s been a lot of murmurings about in the theory of ETFs. I think coin bases position will continue to be anything that we can do to continue to push the crypto economy and provide economic freedom to the world.”

“It’s something that will continue to prioritize.

Tindle then asked about any obstacles that Coinbase may be experiencing.

Gunn noted one significant hurdle in particular.

“The regulatory issue,” she said. “That does tend to be one of our biggest hurdles.”

“I mentioned, the SEC, the Securities Exchange Commission is in the act of a lawsuit against Coinbase. But also at the same time Coinbase sort of took legal action.”

Gunn also said that almost a dozen states have pending litigation against the company.

“We also saw 10 states individual states also take legal action against us. Unfortunately, one of those states is Alabama. This is all publicly reported.”

She made clear that Coinbase will not be swayed by any sort of litigation.

“I think from our perspective, we won’t back down from any sort of legal action, assuming that we we still believe in the mission that we’re doing, and right now we do believe that everything we’re doing is part of providing economic freedom for the world.”

“I think that continues to be some of the challenges that we see.”

Gunn was hopeful that Coinbase’s attorneys will help to provide transparency for the crypto company’s customers in relation to the lawsuits.

“I’m not involved in any of those actions as all sort of fall to our litigation team and our outside counsel, but it is something that we follow and we are hopeful that we’ll just get some clarity, for Coinbase as well as for our users.”