Coinbase has launched a new tool on its app that lets users know how their elected officials view cryptocurrency. The tool is intended to help exchange clients reach out to US lawmakers and potentially influence their vote regarding crypto and blockchain issues and legislation.
The launch comes almost two years after Coinbase actually bans its employees to discuss and debate political issues at work, which has led some media outlets and commentators to portray the new deployment as some sort of hypocritical move on the part of the exchange.
However, the internal ban on political discussions was arguably a step to protect corporate harmony from contentious conflicts among staff, while the new feature aims to exert external pressure on politicians to promote pro-crypto policies. This latter fact has therefore led some in the industry to endorse Coinbase’s latest move.
Coinbase wants users to support pro-crypto lawmakers
Announcing the new feature on Twitter, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong explained that it was aimed at the 103 million verified users it wanted to help “learn about crypto positions held by political leaders there. where they live”.
The ultimate goal of such education is to turn Coinbase users into an active political demographic capable of encouraging/lobbying US lawmakers to support pro-crypto legislation and regulation. Armstrong even revealed that over time the exchange wants to “help pro-crypto candidates solicit donations from the crypto community (in crypto).”
Coinbase also plans to eventually roll out the feature in jurisdictions outside of the United States, with Armstrong adding that the exchange “will also expand to achieve greater geographic coverage during global elections.”
This is a big and ambitious move on the part of Coinbase, and it’s rare not just for a cryptocurrency exchange, but for any type of publicly traded company. And given how much the exchange wants to exploit and exploit its users as a political force, it has led some observers to implicate accusations of hypocrisy.
In fact, some critics have even gone so far as to suggest that the feature depicts Brian Armstrong himself “banning” the views he doesn’t like and only promoting the views he likes. This is the view of skeptical crypto and Tether Bitfinex’ed, which seems to suggest that the upper echelons of Armstrong and Coinbase primarily wanted to suppress left-liberal politics.
On the other hand, figures operating more firmly within crypto view the move as positive for the industry, as it should ultimately have the effect of ensuring more crypto-friendly legislation is passed. And in a climate where various legislators are currently calling for strict regulations for the industry on a regular basis, such legislation is no doubt necessary.
Coinbase’s decision should be read in the current political context, in which the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies is arguably held back by the lack of clear and unambiguous regulations. This is particularly the case when it comes to the question of whether most cryptocurrencies are securities, an issue that is currently disputed within the ongoing Ripple-SEC legal battle.
It is so uncertainty holding back institutional investors and hedge funds investments in the cryptocurrency market, according to research. As such, Coinbase’s decision – despite its superficial inconsistency with the company’s internal policies – should be welcomed by the industry, as it may end up being a necessary ingredient to turn the tide in favor of crypto. .