Coinbase to push for ‘global consensus’ on crypto rules through G20 in Brazil

Quick Take

  • Nana Murugesan, a vice president at the exchange operator, said it hopes to work with finance ministries, central banks and regulators to push for “certain principles that are shared amongst nations.”

Coinbase is eyeing the G20 in Brazil as a forum through which to push for a unified ruleset for crypto operators globally.

The South American country took over presidency of the G20 from India in a ceremony on September 10 and is due to host the summit in Rio De Janeiro next year. 

Nana Murugesan, vice president of international and business development at Coinbase, told The Block in an interview that the exchange operator will advocate for “a set of principles that will build some global consensus” through Brazil’s presidency of the forum. 

“With India wrapping that up and Brazil taking that over, that’s another area where we are very, very active,” Murugesan said, adding that he and Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong will visit Brazil — as well as Canada — later this year, which the firm revealed in a recent blog post outlining the next phase of its international strategy.

“That’s a forum where we are pretty active, working with the finance ministries and the central banks and the regulators to hopefully get to certain principles that are shared amongst nations,” he said.

Go broad, go deep strategy

Coinbase’s international strategy — which it has styled as “Go Broad, Go Deep” — focuses on 24 countries, including the G20 members, together with Hong Kong, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.

“You’ll see Coinbase pretty active in these 24 countries,” Murugesan said. “The goal being that we want to get to some sort of clarity and consensus and some sort of guiding principles as it relates to regulation of crypto and web3.”

The Nasdaq-listed firm accelerated its international drive this year, amid heightened tensions with regulators in the United States. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Coinbase earlier this year over alleged securities laws violations in June. 

Since then, Coinbase has ramped up efforts to get regulated in jurisdictions that offer some kind of licensing regime for crypto firms. The initiative has already yielded registrations in Ireland, The Netherlands and Italy, as well as a provisional approval in Singapore and a license in Germany.

The firm also launched Coinbase International Exchange, a derivatives venue based in Bermuda, from which it hopes to serve customers in multiple jurisdictions — excluding those with their own existing rules around crypto derivatives.

“We are a U.S. publicly listed company, we started in the U.S., the U.S. remains central to our identity and ethos and it’s really important,” Murugesan said. “What we are advocating is clearer regulatory guidelines in the U.S.… While also driving and accelerating our international expansion.”

He continued: “Our goal is not to find the easiest path. We’re not kind of jurisdiction shopping or comparing one versus another. That is not our approach.”

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