Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange embroiled in regulatory struggles within the U.S., has strategically strengthened its Global Advisory Council by welcoming four experts in national security. This move is part of its ongoing efforts to navigate the complex landscape of crypto regulation in the United States.
On Tuesday, Coinbase announced the inclusion of Dr. Mark T. Esper, the former U.S. Secretary of Defense, as a prominent figure in this new lineup. Alongside him is Stephanie Murphy, an ex-congresswoman with a background in national security at the Defense Department; Frances Townsend, who served as the Counterterrorism and Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush; and David Urban, known for his role as a lobbyist and senior advisor to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, as well as his management position at ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok.
These appointments come at a time when Coinbase is actively engaged in a legal tussle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) concerning allegations of unregistered securities. Despite these challenges, Coinbase has managed to secure a nod from The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to operate in the buying and selling of crypto futures for its customers.
The objective behind enlisting these national security stalwarts is to leverage their expertise to assess the broader repercussions that the current regulatory ambiguity may have on the crypto industry in the U.S., specifically its long-term economic and national security implications.
The new members will join an already distinguished council formed in May 2023, which includes former Senator Patrick Toomey (R-PA), former Congressmen Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Chris Lehane of Haun Ventures, and John Anzalone, the founder of Impact Research Polling.
Despite efforts like those of Senator Toomey, who unsuccessfully attempted to pass crypto legislation before retiring at the beginning of the year, the path forward for crypto-related legislative action in the current term remains unclear. This addition of high-profile advisors underscores Coinbase’s commitment to steering through the regulatory headwinds by aligning with knowledgeable figures in government and security.