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Coinbase campaign calls on crypto owners to press Congress for clear regulation

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(Kitco News) - Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the U.S., has put out a fresh call to action to crypto holders, asking that they contact their government representatives and push for an overhaul of the financial system and a clear regulatory framework for digital assets.

“Nearly nine in ten (87%) Americans believe the financial system needs changing and half (51%) of Americans believe that America’s financial system does not work fairly for everyone,” Coinbase wrote in their blog. “Most perceive the system as benefiting anyone but people like themselves, and only 14% are optimistic about the future of the financial system.”

Coinbase noted that 63% of crypto owners agree that the system as it is currently designed unfairly favors powerful interests, and 72% of those aged 18-34 believe “crypto gives people direct control over their money,” and that “digital assets are the future of finance.”

Many Americans already use crypto for more than just speculative purposes, Coinbase said. More than 40% of digital asset owners in “bellwether states” like Nevada, Ohio, and Pennsylvania use them to remit money across borders to help family members pay for food, housing, and health care as they offer lower transaction fees than what banks and wire services typically charge.

Coinbase pushed back against “the status quo [of] an ‘enforcement only’ approach to keep in place a financial system that the vast majority of the people want changed,” and called for the general public to make their voices heard to help drive progress forward.

“The reality is that right now in America, 1 in 5 adults own crypto – it’s a group 52 million Americans strong,” Coinbase said. “Not only is this a large absolute number, it's a group of Americans that will drive future cultural, political, and economic trends. Crypto owners are working and middle class, younger, and more diverse than the population as a whole.”

The blog noted that 55% of voters in New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, and Pennsylvania who were polled in the fall of 2022 “stated that they would be less likely to vote for candidates who oppose crypto and web3.”

Coinbase said that in order to update the financial system and move beyond the status quo, the crypto industry needs clear, sensible legislation, and the current “enforcement only” approach only serves to “put jobs, innovation, and global leadership at risk.”

They noted the rising number of so-called “crypto hubs” – which are locations where countries have moved to adopt responsible crypto-forward regulatory frameworks in an effort to attract new and innovative companies, jobs, and revenue.

“In March, Electric Capital’s developer report found that the U.S. is at risk of losing out on one million developer jobs and three million related non-technical jobs over the next seven years as web3 development increasingly moves overseas,” Coinbase said.

They also highlighted that China is “embracing and advancing the use of technology, including digital assets, to project power,” and warned that the “U.S. global economic leadership and national security are at risk if the U.S. cedes its role in building technology that will be central to the world’s financial infrastructure.”

As a starting point toward establishing clear, sensible legislation for digital assets, Coinbase pointed to the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act ("FIT21"), “which offers a strong regulatory framework providing clear definitions, consumer protections, and a path for regulation that does not stifle innovation.”

They noted that the bill has passed with bipartisan support in both the House Financial Services Committee and the House Agriculture Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, and will come to a full vote on the House floor this Fall.

“It’s time for Congress to hear from the 52 million Americans who own crypto,” Coinbase said. “We’re asking more than 52 million crypto owners and advocates to use their voices to stand with crypto” through a 14-month-long campaign.

The campaign will include a push to mobilize crypto owners into single-issue crypto advocates; A comprehensive paid media campaign across all platforms along with digital and outdoor advertisements in Washington, D.C.; and a focused effort in the states of Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

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Coinbase said the main goal of the campaign is to encourage crypto owners and supporters to take the time to call their members of Congress and ask them to pass clear, sensible legislation.

To help facilitate the process, Coinbase has established a “call maker” that “uses innovative technology that will seamlessly connect people to their Members of Congress directly from media and provides a tailored script to help guide their conversation.”

They plan to host paid media and in-real-life events that “show the size and shape of crypto owners,” and will host a “Stand with Crypto Day” on September 27 where innovators, entrepreneurs, and developers from around the country will fly into DC to be public advocates with Members of Congress and government officials.

“They will explain how crypto is creating jobs and economic activity in their home states – and just how important it is for the US not to pursue an enforcement-only approach that is driving jobs, innovation, and leadership out of the U.S.,” Coinbase said.

Stand with Crypto has a goal of mobilizing one million people into single-issue advocates, but will push to get as many of America’s 52 million crypto owners on board as possible, as that “would be a game changer in standing up to the status quo and advocating for policies that update our financial systems so it is more fair, more distributed, and more inclusive,” Coinbase said.

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