Coinbase HQ move to London could happen in the future, CEO says
The chief executive of cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase said today that switching its headquarters to the UK was “on the table” if the regulatory regime does not improve in the US.
In response to a question asking whether the firm could move its headquarters to the UK, chief executive Brian Armstrong replied saying “anything is on the table”.
“We were founded in the US, [and] I think the US has the potential to be an important market in crypto, but right now we are not seeing the regulatory clarity that we need,” Armstrong said at the Innovate Finance Global Summit in London today.
“I think if a number of years go by where we don’t see regulatory clarity emerge in the US, we may have to consider investing more in other regions. Anything’s on the table, including relocating,” he added.
Coinbase is listed on the Nasdaq in New York and headquartered in San Francisco, but it’s second largest market by revenue is the UK, Armstrong said.
The suggestion of a move marks a major warning shot to US regulators after a bruising period and series of high profile run-ins with US regulators. The US Securities and Exchange Commission last month threatened to sue Coinbase over some of the crypto exchange’s products.
In a separate interview with BBC Radio 4 earlier today, Armstrong also said that if he could relist his company, he would consider the London Stock Exchange over New York.
“In a different world, going back, we may have considered it to be honest at this point,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong’s remarks come in sharp contrast to an ongoing trend of UK firms snubbing London listings in favour of a New York float.
But his comments about potentially moving its head offices to London will be welcome news to the UK political figures that have attempted to woo more crypto firms to the capital.
Ministers announced plans to turn the UK into a digital asset hub last year and City minister Andrew Griffith has since announced plans to bring the sector within the remit of City watchdogs.
Griffith said yesterday that crypto rules were expected in the next 12 months. Regulators in the UK are looking to draw up firmer guardrails for the sector after the collapse of FTX and a number of high profile firms roiled the market last year.