CEO of Coinbase claims the cryptocurrency market can move on after the historic Binance settlement

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FILE PHOTO: A representation of the cryptocurrency is seen in front of Coinbase logo in this illustration taken, March 4, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

After Binance was hit with a historic settlement by the U.S. Department of Justice, the crypto industry can finally close the chapter on a long list of scandals and issues, according to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong on Monday.

Armstrong stated, “We’re able to kind of close that chapter of history and turn the page on that with the enforcement action against Binance.”

Numerous cryptocurrency businesses are advancing the global financial system’s transformation and fostering the growth of the crypto economy. However, a lot of them are still modest start-ups.

He continued, “I believe that regulatory clarity will help bring in more investment, especially from institutions.”

The U.S. Department of Justice hit Binance last week with a $4 billion settlement that included Changpeng Zhao, the company’s founder and CEO, resigning and entering a guilty plea to charges related to money laundering.

The government charged Binance with breaking sanctions against Iran and the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act.

Armstrong refuted the notion that cryptocurrency is primarily utilized for illicit activities like money laundering, fraud, and terrorism financing. Financial firms have refrained from entering the space because of concerns about compliance.

It’s true that there has been a tiny bit of illegal activity in the cryptocurrency space, but based on our observations, it’s actually less than 1%. There are frequently more instances of unlawful cash uses than that, according to Armstrong.

He acknowledged that some players had been “bad actors,” citing the example of Binance, the demise of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, and the fraud conviction of its founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

For the Global Investment Summit, which brings together a wide range of business leaders to promote foreign investment in the U.K., Armstrong is in the country on Monday.

The invitation to the summit of only one cryptocurrency company, Coinbase, Armstrong described as an “endorsement” for the company, if not necessarily for the industry as a whole.

Armstrong declared that Coinbase was increasing its investment in the United Kingdom as a result of his “impressment” with U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s leadership in the field of digital currencies.

The United Kingdom is attempting to include digital assets like stablecoins and cryptocurrencies under its regulatory purview.

Allegations that Coinbase is breaking securities laws through its platform are the subject of a heated legal dispute between the company and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Armstrong expressed his confidence in Coinbase’s ability to fight the lawsuit on that point. In addition, he refuted the notion that Coinbase was compelled to relocate abroad by the SEC’s actions, saying that the business is still making significant investments in the domestic market.

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