Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong: Binance Settlement Marks a Turning Point for Crypto

Fredrik Vold
Last updated: | 1 min read
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong. Source: Source: Getty Images

In an interview with CNBC, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has expressed optimism about the crypto industry’s future following the historic $4 billion settlement imposed on Binance.

In the interview, Armstrong said he believes the enforcement action against Binance by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) allows the crypto community to “turn the page” and move forward, potentially closing a chapter of the crypto industry’s history marred by controversies.

He also stressed the importance of regulatory clarity, saying that a clearer regulatory environment would attract more investment, especially from institutional and high-net worth players.

The DOJ settlement with Binance included a $4 billion fine and the resignation of Binance’s founder and CEO, Changpeng Zhao, who pleaded guilty to money laundering violations and other charges.

The US government accused Binance of violating the US Bank Secrecy Act and breaching sanctions on Iran.

Cash more popular than crypto among criminals

Addressing concerns about illicit activities in the crypto space, Armstrong pushed back on the narrative that crypto is mainly used for nefarious purposes.

He noted that, based on Coinbase’s observations, illicit activities in the crypto industry are less than 1%, contrasting it with illicit uses of cash, which he said is higher.

SEC lawsuit

Like Binance, Coinbase has been sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the main regulatory body overseeing financial markets in the US.

“We allege that Coinbase, despite being subject to the securities laws, commingled and unlawfully offered exchange, broker-dealer, and clearinghouse functions,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler in a statement when the lawsuit was announced in June this year.

Despite ongoing legal challenges, Armstrong in the interview expressed confidence in Coinbase’s ability to navigate the legal landscape, and denied claims that the lawsuit will force Coinbase to move its operations out of the US.