Coinbase Lobbying Strategy Faces Hurdles Following Hamas Crypto Use: Berenberg
Financial analysts at Berenberg view recent reports of Hamas crypto donations as a major stumbling block to the pace of positive crypto regulations globally.
In an Oct 18 research document, the wealth manager stated that Coinbase’s intense digital asset lobbying efforts in the United States might be impacted by Hamas’ use of the asset to finance its operations.
Lead analyst Mark Palmer disclosed that the “cautious stance” towards Coinbase is not borne out of the firm’s operational performance in previous and future quarters but as a result of the legal hurdles posed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and global bodies on the wider crypto market.
“The primary driver of our cautious stance toward Coinbase Global is not our concern about the company’s operating performance during the next couple of quarters, but rather on the threats to its business from the various regulatory actions and litigation that it faces in the U.S.”
Despite the challenges faced, Coinbase continues to lead the push for legal clarity in the market and plans to influence Congress through lobby campaigns.
The recent Hamas incidents could now turn the tide away from the company as anti-crypto lawmakers now have a rallying point to delay regulations or pass more bottleneck regulations, a move which would tighten the market amid falling prices.
Hamas crypto funding
Over the past week, reports have emerged over the Hamas funding from digital assets resulting in wide seizures and more scrutiny.
🤔 Hamas' Cryptocurrency Ties May Add Momentum to Senator Warren's Anti-Crypto Bill— Cryptonews.com (@cryptonews) October 15, 2023
The revelation that the recent attack in southern Israel, which allegedly resulted in the deaths of 1,200 Israelis, was partially funded with cryptocurrency.#CryptoNewshttps://t.co/Q7VpgBksqu
Last week, Israeli authorities seized cryptocurrency in accounts linked to Hamas donations, a police statement reads.
“According to suspicions, with the outbreak of the war, Hamas’ terrorist organization initiated a fundraising campaign on social networks, urging the public to deposit cryptocurrencies into their accounts.”
The authorities disclosed that the Police and Defense Ministry took decisive steps with the efforts of Binance to divert the assets into state control.
Similarly, Tether, the company behind USDT stablecoin, froze 32 wallets it believed were linked to funding wars in Ukraine and Israel, revealing that the wallets hold a combined $873,118.
“While Hamas announced last April that it would no longer use crypto for fundraising due to the ability of authorities to track its movement on blockchain ledgers, we believe the recent headlines are likely to make clarity around the question of crypto’s legal status even more elusive,” Berenberg added.
The paper also highlighted declining volumes in recent financial quarters by the exchange as the wider crypto winter drags on.
Coinbase recently disclosed its Q3 2022 financials which show a massive 52% drop in trading volumes and a 17% decline from last quarter, a position that marks the lowest growth point since it got publicly listed on Nasdaq.
Many factors are responsible for the plunging figures of spot exchanges including lawsuits by regulators, declining trader confidence, and macroeconomic factors.
“We continue to view COIN’s consumer take rate as being at risk of compression due to competition for market share within a lower volume crypto space,” the report states.