Coinbase head Brian Armstrong says the collapse of crypto exchange FTX may make US politicians more skeptical of the crypto industry.
In a new interview with Bankless, Armstrong weighs in on the collapse of the crypto empire of Sam Bankman-Fried who launched FTX.
“I’m trying to make sense of this too because I actually think Sam’s approach with regulators and policymakers in DC was actually pretty good, I thought. He clearly had a passion for it. He was smart and he advanced some of the issues in a meaningful way, which I give him credit for. I think that where he went on the DeFi side obviously was not fully in line with some of the values we have as an industry.
The most interesting story from my point of view is he gave a lot of money to various politicians in DC and had built these really strong relationships. And I worry a little bit about what’s happening in their mind right now where they think, ‘Oh, well, I’ve got to go distance myself from this person who is now sort of persona non grata or something like that.’
Or maybe they’re thinking, ‘We have to be careful. Why did I trust this person?’ I don’t really know what’s going through their head, but I do think that DC is going to be a little more skeptical of people coming in and talking a good game. They might feel like they got a little bit burned in this situation.”
Armstrong also says the top US crypto exchange Coinbase is actively discussing the crypto space with US politicians but takes a quieter approach.
“Our approach to DC and just policymaking generally is we’re a little bit more behind closed doors. Sometimes these people appreciate having dialogue and back-and-forth that doesn’t emerge on Twitter. And so we’ve basically been behind the scenes trying to just be quiet and we try to give them all the credit and not take any credit on our own.
I think we’ve done reasonably well advancing some of these conversations and defending the industry. Once in a while, if there’s something we feel like we need to speak out on, like Tornado Cash, we will actually take a stand and try to protect our customers from bad policy but 95% of the time it’s just us working with – there’s a lot of reasonable people in government and we can find common ground with them and that’s what we do most of the time.”
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