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George Osborne joins US crypto giant Coinbase as advisor

Osborne Coinbase Image credit: Number 10 / Flickr

George Osborne, the former chancellor of the exchequer, has joined the American crypto giant Coinbase as an advisor.

Osborne, who ran the Treasury for six years during the premiership of now Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron, will support the California firm as the digital currency industry faces regulatory pressure in the US.

According to the crypto firm, the company will be “relying on his insights and experiences as we grow Coinbase around the world”.

Osborne said: “There’s a huge amount of exciting innovation in finance right now. Blockchains are transforming financial markets and online transactions. Coinbase is at the frontier of these developments.”

The crypto industry is facing intense scrutiny from regulators, particularly in the US, with Coinbase facing a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Coinbase rival Binance is also facing pressure from US regulators.

The 2022 collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX in part led to an increased emphasis on regulating crypto in the US and beyond.

Last year, Osborne spoke on stage with Coinbase founder Brian Armstrong at the Innovate Finance Global Summit.

During the live talk, Armstrong expressed frustration at the US approach to crypto regulation, prompting Osborne to query if a move to the UK was on the cards.

Armstrong responded by saying: “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 was supportive of the British government’s approach to crypto, saying he would “give the UK really high marks”.

Osborne was editor of the Evening Standard from 2017 to 2020.