Coinbase Exits Industry Lobbying Group in Protest Over Recent Unspecified 'Decisions'

Coinbase cited recent board decisions that could "irreperably impair" the Blockchain Association.

AccessTimeIconAug 11, 2020 at 6:11 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:42 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Coinbase has withdrawn from industry lobbying group the Blockchain Association. The move comes a day after crypto exchange rival Binance.US joined the group.

  • "Recent decisions made by the association and its board seem at odds with the association’s mission," a Coinbase spokesperson told CoinDesk without elaborating on those decisions. 
  • "We believe that decisions made now have the potential to irreparably impair the credibility of the Association and make it increasingly difficult for it to achieve its goals and those of its members," the spokesperson said.
  • With the departure, Coinbase vacates its founding seat on the Blockchain Association’s eight-person board and membership in the 24-strong organization, now down to 23. 
  • As first reported by Fortune's Jeff Roberts, Coinbase’s Tuesday departure is closely linked to another group’s Monday arrival: Binance.US.
  • The U.S. affiliate of international exchange powerhouse Binance competes with Coinbase for American crypto investors’ accounts.
  • Though Coinbase refused to name Binance.US publicly, a board resignation letter obtained by The Block indicates the disagreement does indeed stem from membership disputes.
  • “Recent weeks have demonstrated to us that the Blockchain Association is not interested in the membership criteria we had worked to establish to underpin the mission of this organization," Coinbase’s Hermine Wong wrote to lobbyist chief Kristin Smith.
  • In a tweet response that also avoided naming Binance.US, the Blockchain Association defended its membership practices. 
  • “The Blockchain Association believes that bringing all of the major companies, investors, and innovative projects together from this young and growing industry is the only way to achieve meaningful and lasting policy and regulatory goals,” it said in a tweet.
  • Binance.US declined to comment.

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.