Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Says He Was Met With an “Icy Reception” When Chatting With SEC’s Gensler

Sarah Wynn
Last updated: | 1 min read
Source: Coinbase

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said he was met with a “pretty icy reception” when chatting with Securities and Exchange Commission Gary Gensler about registering his exchange.

Armstrong said the exchange tried to get a meeting, and did meet virtually at some point.

“But unfortunately, it was frankly like a pretty icy reception, I would say,” Armstrong said on Wednesday at a Bloomberg Invest event

Armstrong then said Gensler directed him to talk to his lawyer.

Armstrong’s comments come a day after the SEC filed a lawsuit against Coinbase and said it was operating its platform while not being registered as an exchange, broker, or clearing agency. 

The regulator also charged the US crypto exchange for the unregistered offer and sale of securities related to its staking-as-a-service program. 

The SEC did not charge Coinbase executives in the lawsuit. 

The regulator also named 13 cryptocurrencies as securities, according to the complaint.  

A day before, the SEC sued crypto exchange Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao for multiple offenses, including misleading investors, unlawfully operating as an exchange, among other charges. 

Gensler has called on exchanges to register and recently said this month that they tend to be “rife with conflicts.” 

Campaign in Washington 

The SEC’s charges against Coinbase come a few weeks after the exchange released a new TV campaign to promote the future of crypto.

In a black and white and almost two-minute long video, Armstrong lays out the benefits of crypto and calls out its “naive view.”

“The naive view of crypto is that this is some speculative asset that people are trading and they’re going to lose their shirts,” Armstrong said. “That’s missing the forest through the trees.”

There are expected to be four ads total featuring Armstrong, which will appear on “popular Sunday shows” with a new chapter going out each weekend according to a release