Coinbase CEO backs 'Stand with Crypto' campaign after suing SEC for clarity

Quick Take

  • Brian Armstrong backed a project that aims to signal “unity for the crypto community seeking sensible crypto policy” — hours after Coinbase sued the SEC for clarity on digital asset regulation. 
  • Coinbase didn’t immediately respond to a query seeking clarity on whether the Stand with Crypto campaign had been created by the exchange or was independent. 

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong backed an NFT project aiming to signal "unity for the crypto community seeking sensible crypto policy" hours after the crypto exchange giant sued the Securities and Exchange Commission for clarity on digital asset regulation. 

"I just minted Stand with Crypto," Armstrong tweeted, with a link to a free NFT image of a shield, hosted on the Zora marketplace. After minting the NFT, the executive hasn't as yet taken the second step recommended to show support for the project: adding a shield emoji next to his Twitter name. 

A Coinbase spokesperson confirmed that the Stand with Crypto campaign had been created by the exchange. 

Armstrong's tweet came shortly after Coinbase announced it was suing the SEC, seeking to force a response to its July request for the U.S. regulator to draft a specific rule covering digital assets. Since that request, the agency has declined to create a separate crypto regulation, while reopening custody and exchange rules to explicitly say that they apply to digital assets. The SEC has also engaged in several enforcement actions against crypto firms, including an investigation into Coinbase.

"The Stand with Crypto commemorative NFT is a symbol of unity for the crypto community seeking sensible crypto policy," the project's page on Zora states. "The NFT features a blue shield, representing a collective stand to protect and promote the potential of crypto. The blue shield not only shows your support for the cause but also that you’re part of a growing community who believes in the future of crypto. 

Coinbase's lobbying efforts


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Coinbase has a history of attempting to influence U.S. policy with grassroots lobbying campaigns. In February, it announced Crypto435, an effort "to grow the crypto advocacy community and share tools and resources to make your voice heard." The movement aims to promote pro-crypto policy in America's 435 congressional districts.

The Stand With Crypto page on Zora also encourages people to become a Crypto435 advocate. 

The blue shield NFT created for the Stand with Crypto campaign is "purely commemorative," with no limits on the number that can be minted. It doesn't intend to have any utility or value. As of the time of publication, more than 11,000 NFTs had been minted. 

Update: story updated to confirm the Stand With Crypto campaign was created by Coinbase. 

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Andrew Rummer is executive editor for The Block Pro, based in London. He was previously managing editor at Bloomberg News and led special projects at Finimize. He has a degree in engineering from the University of Oxford. Follow him on Twitter at @AJRummer.


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