U.S. has urgent need for crypto legislation: Coinbase execs

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Coinbase, one of the largest crypto exchanges globally, has been around for 10 years. And while the company has grown its offerings, products and services, its policy talking points haven’t changed dramatically, Kara Calvert, head of U.S. policy at Coinbase told TechCrunch+.

But what has changed, she said, is the “momentum and urgency” for digital asset legislation and rules at a federal level in the U.S..

“We need to have legislation now, we don’t want to be another year or two to three years out,” Calvert said. If U.S. agencies continue to move slowly on the regulatory front, builders will go overseas to other countries and regions like Singapore, the European Union and Hong Kong — all of which have provided more regulatory frameworks in the recent past.

There are two policy debates going on globally: the U.S. and the ex-U.S. policy debate, said Faryar Shirzad, chief policy officer at Coinbase. “The rest of the world, with few exceptions, has made the decision that they want to embrace crypto and web3 tech in some fashion,” he said. “They’re moving actively to develop a framework for rules and regulations to protect consumers and also encourage innovation.”

Regulatory uncertainty remains one of the biggest challenges and concerns for corporations and small players looking to build in the U.S., according to a recent report on corporate adoption by Coinbase and The Block.

Around 91% of surveyed executives agree that lack of clear regulation on crypto, blockchain or web3 make the space hard to navigate. The report also found that 52% of companies say they are holding off on major investments in the sector until regulation is established and they can feel more confident.

Legislation incoming

There may be potential for U.S.-based legislation to be written within the next six to 12 months, Calvert said. But it requires a “coalition of the willing” to come together and modify the current rules to fit the space.

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