Coinbase CEO happy to go to court over US stance on staking, 'if needed'

Quick Take

  • CEO Brian Armstrong’s statement comes on the heels of Kraken settling a dispute with the SEC over staking services.
  • Coinbase shares tumbled this week amid U.S. regulators targeting crypto staking services.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has stepped up what looks like a preemptive defense of his cryptocurrency exchange's staking services.

Coinbase's staking services are not securities. We will happily defend this in court if needed,” Armstrong posted to Twitter on Sunday.

Armstrong’s weekend comments come after rival exchange Kraken settled a dispute with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier in the week. Kraken agreed to pay a $30 million fine for failing to register the offer and sale of its “crypto asset staking-as-a-service program.” The Coinbase CEO has also said it would be a "terrible path" for the U.S. if it decided to restrict crypto staking.

Although Coinbase has said its staking services are "fundamentally different" than Kraken's, its shares fell by more than 20%.

Armstrong has said crypto companies should be encouraged to grow in the U.S. and not unnecessarily restricted from doing business.

Updates by correcting a typo and adding "not" so that in the final paragraph it reads"not unnecessarily restricted."

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RT Watson is a senior reporter at The Block who covers a wide array of topics including U.S.-based companies, blockchain gaming and NFTs. Formerly covered entertainment at The Wall Street Journal, where he wrote about Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros. and the creator economy while focusing primarily on technological disruption across media. Previous to that he covered corporate, economic and political news in Brazil while at Bloomberg. RT has interviewed a diverse cast of characters including CEOs, media moguls, top influencers, politicians, blue-collar workers, drug traffickers and convicted criminals. Holds a master's degree in Digital Sociology.

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