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‘Anything is on the table’: Coinbase boss teases UK move

Coinbase UK
Image credit: rarrarorro via Shutterstock

The founder of Coinbase has suggested the US crypto exchange is open to moving the company to the UK because of a more favourable regulatory environment.

In a conversation with former chancellor George Osborne at today’s Innovate Finance Global Summit, Coinbase founder Brian Armstrong said that the regulatory structure in the UK made it potentially more attractive than the company’s homeland in the US.

Armstrong expressed frustration with the lack of clarity from US regulators, which he said are approaching regulation differently to how he would like.

When the former head of the Treasury asked Armstrong if a move to the UK was on the cards, the crypto boss said: “We were founded in the US, I think the US has the potential to be an important market in crypto. Right now, we are not seeing that regulatory clarity needed, so, I’d say anything is on the table”.

Armstrong said he was an admirer of the UK regulatory regime and the general attitude towards tech and crypto in the country.

“Overall, I would give the UK really high marks… we’ve seen really incredible leadership from people like Rishi Sunak continuing to message that science and technology is important in this country. Crypto is a major part of that and we’ve learned that he wants the UK to be a financial hub.”

Armstrong added that a lack of regulatory clarity from larger nations is what causes crypto companies like the collapsed Bahamas-based FTX to “be built in offshore havens”.

During his time as chancellor, Rishi Sunak expressed an interest in creating a global cryptoasset hub in the UK.

Despite Armstrong’s admiration of UK regulation, the country still lacks the promised crypto regulatory framework.

Work is being done to ramp up the government’s crypto activities. However, official communication from the Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) suggests it is at a very early stage.