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As Bitcoin investor Chamath Palihapitiya issued a stark warning amid price chaos, Coinbase responded with extreme force, declaring that "crypto is dead in America"


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    04/25 update below. This post was originally published on April 24

    Bitcoin BTC and crypto have come under pressure due to the anti-crypto attitude of U.S. regulators and lawmakers (one of which is building an "anti-crypto army").

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    The bitcoin price, despite seeing a 2023 rally that some think could be just getting started, is still down by around 60% from its late-2021 all-time highs while Coinbase COIN , the major U.S.-listed crypto exchange, has been hard hit by violent bitcoin and crypto price swings—though one new cryptocurrency is suddenly surging.

    Now, venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya, an early bitcoin investor who claims to have first bought bitcoin in 2010, has declared "crypto is dead in America"—warning regulators are coming for crypto companies like Coinbase.

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    adopted an anti-bitcoin and crypto stance that has weighed on the bitcoin price and could drive crypto companies over seas.

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    "Crypto is dead in America," Palihapitiya said on the All-In Podcast, alongside fellow investors Jason Calacanis, David Sacks and David Friedberg, pointing to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Gary Gensler blaming the recent banking crisis on bitcoin and crypto. "So the United States authorities have firmly pointed their guns at crypto."

    04/25 update: Coinbase has sued the SEC in an attempt to force the watchdog to provide regulatory clarity for the crypto industry.

    "Coinbase filed a narrow action in federal court to compel the SEC to respond yes or no to our July 2022 petition asking the SEC to use its formal rulemaking process to provide guidance for the crypto industry," Paul Grewal, Coinbase's chief legal officer, wrote in a blog post.

    In July last year, Coinbase called on the SEC to spell out rules that would identify which cryptocurrencies are securities and how securities laws would apply to them.

    Last week, Gensler linked the collapse of Silvergate and Signature Bank to their bitcoin and crypto activities during his testimony before a House financial services committee.

    Regulators and lawmakers in the U.S. increased their scrutiny on the crypto industry and market following the implosion of the Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX in November last year, which sent shockwaves through Washington DC, where FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried had become a major political donor.

    In January, four senior U.S. officials in the Biden administration urged Congress to "step up" efforts to regulate the cryptocurrency market, calling it "a grave mistake to enact legislation that reverses course and deepens the ties between cryptocurrencies and the broader financial system."

    "Coinbase played by the rules, stood in line, tried to do the right things," Palihapitiya said. "It seems that every step along the way, everything from board composition to executive composition to how they try to interact with the regulators, yet they were probably the furthest away from getting a license. The one that came the closest was the one that was the most fraudulent, which is FTX. How is that even possible?"

    Coinbase listed shares on the New York Stock Exchange in the spring of 2021 at the height of a bitcoin and crypto price bull run. However, Coinbase stock has collapsed by more than 80% since it floated shares amid the price downturn, sometimes called the bitcoin and crypto winter.

    "[Crypto companies are] probably the ones that were the most threatening to the establishment, and they were the ones that, in fairness to the regulators, did push the boundaries more than any other sector of the startup economy. So now, they’re paying the price for that. The bill has come due for them," Palihapitiya said.

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    after suffering an almighty crash through 2023 that played havoc with crypto companies such as Coinbase.

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    Last week, Coinbase chief executive Brian Armstrong said the San Francisco-based bitcoin and crypto exchange would consider moving away from the U.S. if the regulatory environment for the industry does not become clearer.

    "Anything is on the table, including relocating or whatever is necessary," Armstrong said during a London conference, it was reported by Coindesk.

    "I think the U.S. has the potential to be an important market for crypto, but right now we are not seeing that regulatory clarity that we need," he said. "I think in a number of years if we don't see that regulatory clarity emerge in the U.S. we may have to consider investing more elsewhere in the world."

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