What Happened: Brian Armstrong, co-founder, and CEO of crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc (NASDAQ:COIN), joined a list of crypto executives opposing the newly proposed infrastructure bill’s broad definition of crypto brokers.
Calling it a “hastily conceived” provision related to digital assets, Armstrong asserted that the bill could have a profound negative impact on crypto and unintentionally push more innovation overseas.
“Coinbase is happy to help customers fulfill tax obligations just like the rest of the financial services industry. We’ve been doing this for years, and issuing more 1099s is a great idea,” he said in a thread on Twitter.
“But the bill defines “brokers” to include anyone who “effectuates transfers of digital assets.” This means almost anyone in the crypto ecosystem (miners, validators, smart contracts, open source developers etc) could be treated as a “broker” with massive reporting obligations.”
According to the Coinbase CEO, this makes no sense. Still, in his view, a more concerning feature of the bill is the imposition of unprecedented reporting requirements.
2/ Coinbase is happy to help customers fulfill tax obligations just like the rest of the financial services industry. We’ve been doing this for years, and issuing more 1099s is a great idea. https://t.co/CFagI7nnbm
— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) August 4, 2021
Armstrong claims that these new reporting requirements will require crypto exchanges like Coinbase to surveil their customer’s transactions in a way that is more intrusive than the rest of traditional finance.
“All we ask for is an even playing field with traditional finance that doesn’t penalize cryptocurrency unfairly,” he said.
In light of the widespread criticism that the bill received, The Wall Street Journal reported that Senator Rob Portman agreed on the need to clarify the provision that he wrote.
Price Action: At press time, cryptocurrency markets traded higher, with the overall market cap growing by 3.77% to $1.64 trillion.
Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) gained 4.09% over the past 24-hours to trade at a price of $42,611. Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) also traded 2.35% higher over the same period, trading at $2,891 at the time of writing.
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