Robinhood exec dubs Coinbase regulation idea “plain silly”

Robinhood chief legal officer Dan Gallagher has criticized recent proposals by crypto exchange Coinbase for a legal framework to regulate the sector.

Coinbase has been preparing the idea to pitch to lawmakers in a bid to create more clarity in the fickle world of crypto regulation.

Robinhood’s criticism comes as it continues to move in on the crypto space, a sector in which Coinbase has become one of the leading crypto exchanges in the US.

Speaking at the Georgetown University Financial Markets Quality Conference, Gallagher said Coinbase’s pitch was one of the “stupidest ideas I’ve heard in this space for a long time”.

In its original proposal, Coinbase argued that some of the crypto oversight should be taken away from the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which Gallagher believes would add confusion to the sector.

Gallagher has had more than a month to pore over the document titled Digital Asset Policy Proposal.

Responding to Gallagher’s suggestion that the idea had no value, Coinbase said: “We welcome any discussion on how to reform a system that isn’t fit for purpose when it comes to crypto. But to be clear, our proposal never called for a new regulator – it was regulator agnostic.”

Coinbase urged anyone who had “concrete ideas” to share them and contribute. The company added that its own motivation behind the proposal is to spare other companies the trouble of dealing with authorities over the vague and ill-defined regulation.

Gallagher has experience of governance as he served as a commissioner on the Securities and Exchange Commission during the Obama administration. Adding another regulator, he explained, was just “plain silly”.

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Updated: 11/18/2021 — 15:00