Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has warned that the US risks ceding its global financial leadership and innovation hub status if it fails to recognize the transformative potential of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.
In a recent interview with Market Watch, Armstrong urged policymakers and regulators to provide regulatory clarity to ensure consumer protection and realize the promise of crypto.
Armstrong further claimed:
By enforcing restrictive policies, the U.S. is inadvertently driving crypto-innovation offshore. That shift will compromise America’s legacy of pioneering technological advancements, and weaken our national security posture.
Brian Armstrong Warns U.S. Could Lose To China
The Coinbase CEO emphasized that currency has always embodied innovation, from the earliest coins as physical stores of value that transitioned the human race from bartering to commerce to the advent of portable paper currency that bolstered lending and investments.
Armstrong also notes that the technologically driven financial system of the 20th century, which was characterized by innovations such as credit cards, electronic transfers, and online banking, helped to make it the “American Century” – a period of US economic and political dominance. This highlights the importance of technological innovation in driving economic progress and global influence and suggests that the US must continue to lead in this area to maintain its position as a global economic leader.
However, Coinbase CEO suggests that now the US and other democratic nations are up against digital systems promoted by an ambitious adversary, China. Armstrong revealed that China is promoting two Chinese tech behemoths, Alipay and Tencent, which offer integrated payment systems with direct, instant access to an array of services.
With the recent launch of its digital yuan, China aims to directly challenge the US dollar and its role in global commerce. Given these moves and China’s strategy to leverage financial technology to protect its national interests, Hong Kong is positioning itself as a global crypto hub.
Coinbase CEO Urges US Congress To Seize Historic Opportunity
Armstrong put forward that smart and bespoke regulation in the 1990s and early 2000s enabled the US to define the Internet Age. And just like then, now is the time for Congress to seize the historic opportunity presented by crypto, pass comprehensive legislation that safeguards consumers, and fosters innovation.
Moreover, he stressed that crypto has the potential to play a significant part in stimulating the American economy and promoting democratic values worldwide. “If the US falls short today, the next generation of Americans will pay the price,” the CEO said.
Furthermore, Armstrong warned that if the US fails to recognize the transformative potential of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, it risks ceding its global financial leadership and innovation hub status to other countries.
Bringing crypto and blockchain innovation back to the US a decade from now will require a colossal and sustained effort that may not succeed. Therefore, Armstrong urged policymakers and regulators to work together to modernize the financial system and reaffirm the country’s role as a global technology leader rather than abdicating it.
He also acknowledged that traditional financial capitals, including the UK, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Japan, the European Union, Australia, and Singapore, are also vying to become crypto hubs. He argued that the nexus between financial technologies and democratic values is integral to America’s identity. It’s why he decided to base Coinbase in the US.
Overall, Armstrong highlights the potential of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency to revolutionize the financial system and other sectors, and the importance of the US in fostering innovation in this space.
By providing regulatory clarity, he believes the US can safeguard consumers, stimulate the economy, and maintain its position as a global financial leader and innovation hub.
Featured image from Unsplash, chart from TradingView.com