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How ‘hostile’ U.S crypto regulations will benefit Coinbase, per exec

How ‘hostile’ U.S crypto regulations will benefit Coinbase, per exec

Journalist

  • Bitwise executive claims that Coinbase benefits from hostile U.S. crypto regulation.  
  • The executive projects that crypto startups will fall off the wayside. 

Coinbase is reportedly the key beneficiary amidst aggressive U.S. enforcement actions in the crypto space.

Robinhood Crypto is the latest firm to receive Wells notice from the U.S. SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission).  

Recently, MetaMask and Uniswap received Wells notices, too, signaling the SEC’s intention to take enforcement action against the firms.

The CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) Chair warned that the trend will intensify in the “next 6–24 months.”

Interestingly, Coinbase thrives in the U.S. regulatory heat, according to Bitwise’s CIO Matt Hougan. Penning his claims on X (formerly Twitter), the exec commented, 

“The hostile regulatory environment is creating an artificial “moat” for Coinbase’s business, helping sustain extremely high margins and allowing them to over-earn in the short-term.” 

Coinbase’s playbook in the U.S. regulatory heat 

Citing Coinbase’s successful diversified ventures like the Ethereum [ETH] layer 2 — Base, the Bitwise exec added that, 

“What’s impressive is that they are using this opportunity to both raise cash (now $7.1 billion) and massively diversified their business (see the growth in USDC, Base, international futures).”

The executive also highlighted that the high regulatory costs in the U.S. could stifle competition and deter new entrants in the space. 

“The capture is nearly perfect. The regulatory costs are too high for crypto native startups to compete (just imagine Coinbase’s legal bills). And the regulatory risk is too high for traditional firms to be tempted (just look at what’s happening to Robinhood).”

The regulatory pressure further consolidates Coinbase’s market share as the primary place for buying or selling digital assets and tokens in the U.S.

As of Q4 2023, Coinbase commanded over 75% of the US market share. 

However, Uniswap [UNI], MetaMask, and even Robinhood Crypto are ready to fight back at SEC. Reacting to the SEC Wells notice, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev vowed that, 

“If necessary, we will use our resources to contest this matter in the courts, with the intent of both defending our crypto business and establishing regulatory clarity in the United States for the benefit of our customers.”

It remains to be seen how Coinbase market share will be affected if these embattled crypto firms win against the SEC. 

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