Cryptocurrency has bipartisan appeal in Alabama, Coinbase policy expert says – 'Crypto users are really strong in Alabama'
6 mins read

Cryptocurrency has bipartisan appeal in Alabama, Coinbase policy expert says – 'Crypto users are really strong in Alabama'

The past several years have seen a huge global increase in the popularity of crypto-based currency. The evolution of digitalized forms of payments has transformed markets around the world.

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States in terms of trading volume, is a product of that rapid growth.

Beyond the Blockchain, a mobile-based podcast, recently invited Ashley Gunn, the company's senior manager of US policy, to discuss the crypto economy and the future of the corporation.

Podcast host Scott Tindall asked Gunn if there was anything going on in Alabama that the company was paying particular attention to.

Gunn replied, “First of all, we want to say Alabama is a great state for us.” “Crypto users are really strong in Alabama. We actually saw some data that was released that basically says 18% of Alabama adults own or transact crypto, which is honestly higher than I expected.

“It's not just Coinbase, it's across the entire crypto economy. 18% of your population, which is great.”

Gunn believes crypto is a bipartisan issue in Alabama.

“Based on this research, we saw that of that group, 38% are Democrats, 38% are Republicans, and 20% are independent.”

“I think sometimes people think crypto falls one way or another on the political spectrum.”

Tyndall then directed the conversation toward regulation and the potential for regulatory overreach in the crypto industry.

“When I talk to people in person, crypto is of interest to people across the political spectrum,” Tindall said. “So, you will see this division between what is regulatory permitted and what is redundant. “This is going to be a great conversation and an important conversation over the next few years.”

“On this show we talk about AI. We talk about machine learning. We talk about a lot of different things that require some version of regulation, but crypto and blockchain are more developed,” Tindall said.

“It's more sophisticated and more mature than the other two. So we'll probably see regulation there first and it'll just be about what's the most appropriate version.”

Tindall asked Gunn to clarify Coinbase's position regarding regulation.

Gunn replied that the company is “very pro-regulation.”

“We have long advocated regulation. Again, I think it goes back to what I was saying earlier, you know, we're concerned about our own enforcement risk. It is no secret that Coinbase is being sued by the SEC right now.

“Having more clarity about what regulation will look like helps eliminate enforcement risk,” Gunn said.

He also said potential SEC fines could have an adverse impact on smaller companies.

“But then again, we are also concerned about smaller players and enforcement risk. If the smaller players there are fined by the SEC, they will be put out of business.

“We see our mission as finding that appropriate, optimized regulatory environment that, you know, allows these companies to innovate, but obviously doesn't go too far into the regulatory overreach that we're talking about. You're talking.”

Tindall said regulations are needed to attract more people to crypto.

“What we talk about a lot on the show is that there has to be some kind of balance. If there is some type of regulation, people feel more secure and for the industry to continue to grow we need to include people who may not be crypto natives or blockchain natives.

He then talked about exchange traded funds and their role in crypto.

“I think exchange traded funds (ETFs) are helping with that now because people get the opportunity to invest in Bitcoin through some of these ETFs. They use their 401K, their financial advisors and that It starts making a difference.”

“Do you think we're going to see more of this in the future with more monetization through ETFs and financial advisors evolving? Or is this anything on your radar?

Gunn explained in detail the evolution and role of ETFs in the crypto world.

“The ultimate mission of Coinbase, and the credit goes to our CEO Brian Armstrong, who had a vision of providing economic freedom to the world,” Gunn said.

“If it's through an ETF, that's great. We have seen a lot of adoption through ETFs. I think there is a lot of controversy going on about the concept of ETFs. I think Coinbase's position will continue to be whatever we can do to advance the crypto economy and provide economic freedom to the world.

“This is something that will continue to be prioritized.

Tyndall then asked about any disruptions Coinbase was experiencing.

Gunn mentioned one significant hurdle in particular.

“Regulatory issue,” she said. “This is one of our biggest obstacles.”

“I mentioned, the SEC, the Securities Exchange Commission is filing a lawsuit against Coinbase. But also Coinbase kind of took legal action as well.”

Gunn also said there were lawsuits pending against the company in about a dozen states.

“We also saw that 10 different states took legal action against us. Unfortunately, one of those states is Alabama. All this has been reported publicly.”

He clarified that Coinbase will not be affected by any type of lawsuit.

“I think from our perspective, we will not back down from any type of legal action, given that we still believe in the mission that we're doing, and right now we believe that whatever we do Part of what we're doing is providing economic freedom to the world.”

“I think those continue to be some of the challenges that we see.”

Gunn hoped Coinbase lawyers would help provide transparency to the crypto company's customers regarding the lawsuits.

“I am not involved in any of these actions, as that is up to our litigation team and our outside counsel, but it is something that we follow and we are hopeful that we will get some clarity from Coinbase as well ” For our users.”

full episode:

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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