Brian Armstrong's call to "elect pro-crypto candidates" comes as the Securities and Exchange Commission prepares to take his exchange to court.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong issued a call to action alongside a stark warning that the head-on attack on crypto the Securities and Exchange Commission is believed to be launching soon will push the U.S. to the back of the line in financial innovation.
Speaking in a Twitter Spaces discussion on Thursday, Armstrong called on crypto supporters to donate to and "elect pro-crypto candidates."
Saying that Coinbase would begin trying to organize the approximately 50 million Americans who own or have owned crypto, Armstrong warned that with other countries like the U.K. and EU creating regulatory frameworks and financial rails that can accommodate crypto, the U.S. will see the industry moving offshore.
Coinbase is "going to start putting out content where people can contact their Congressman, donate to pro-crypto candidates, show up at town halls, make your voice heard," Armstrong said. "We are going to elect pro-crypto candidates in this country to make sure that our success is ensured."
Last August, Coinbased added a U.S. voter registration tool ahead of the midterm elections as part of a broader crypto policy education push.
A Rising Profile
As the CEO of the first pure crypto company to go public directly with a Nasdaq direct offering, Armstrong was for a while arguably the most prominent public voice in crypto — something that ended with the rise of FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and his $100 million policy lobbying warchest, and subsequently high profile in Washington, D.C.
That in turn ended quite abruptly last year when FTX collapsed in a welter of fraud that saw Bankman-Fried arrested with as much as $9 billion worth of his customers' funds misappropriated and lost.
Which leaves Armstrong among the strongest public voices crypto has again.
Armstrong's comments came as the SEC issued his company a Wells Notice indicating that it is considering suing Coinbase. There are indications that the legal action may be broad enough to constitute a full-on push to get a court to rule that nearly all cryptocurrencies are securities, as the agency's chairman, Gary Gensler, has long argued.
In a blog post earlier this week, Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal wrote, "if necessary, we welcome the opportunity for Coinbase and the broader crypto community to get clarity in court."