Coinbase CEO considers China’s digital payments industry an ‘ambitious adversary’

Brian Armstrong urged for competitive U.S. crypto policies in an op-ed.

TechCrunch / CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia. Remixed by CryptoSlate

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said in a May 30 op-ed on MarketWatch that the U.S. crypto industry faces a strong challenge from China’s digital payments industry.

Armstrong opined that the U.S. faces an “ambitious adversary” in the form of China’s digital payment industry. He said:

“Two Chinese tech behemoths, Alipay and Tencent, offer integrated payment systems … The [CCP] is promoting these powerful, rapidly scaling platforms worldwide … with its social credit system baked in.”

Digital yuan challenges U.S. dollar

Armstrong said China introduced its digital yuan (or e-CNY), which he believes is intended to “directly challenge the U.S. dollar.” One Chinese province has handled $22 billion in transactions through the digital yuan as of March.

Armstrong drew attention to upcoming Hong Kong regulations taking effect on June 1 that will allow certain crypto companies to apply to operate in the region. He noted that the UK, the EU, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Japan, and Singapore are all aiming to become crypto leaders, and the U.S. will need to compete against all of them.

Better regulations needed

In the op-ed, Armstrong urged regulators to create rules that will produce a strong and competitive U.S. crypto industry. He said:

“Now is the time for Congress to seize the historic opportunity presented by crypto, and pass comprehensive legislation that safeguards consumers and fosters innovation.”

Coinbase recently received a Wells notice from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that could see the regulator file direct charges.

The company has responded by initiating legal action and demanding that the SEC create clear guidelines under which the company can operate.

Though Armstrong did not directly mention that conflict in his op-ed, he said Coinbase has received “threats of enforcement action” in its attempts to seek regulatory clarity.

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