Crypto exchange Coinbase establishes think tank to push policy goals

May 18 (Reuters) - Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, is launching a global think tank to shape the policy debate around digital assets as regulators and Congress explore how crypto assets should be governed.

The Coinbase Institute will accelerate research on cryptocurrency and Web3 — a decentralized version of the internet — and spearhead discussions with policymakers and academics on the intersection of technology and finance, said Hermine Wong, director of policy at Coinbase and the director of the institute.

The group did not list any specific policy goals that it wants to advocate, but said its aims include conducting research, forging partnerships with academic institutions and building an in-house team to increase public knowledge about the crypto ecosystem.

“We’re interested in every area of research that involves the crypto economy and how it is interdisciplinary, how it is connected to our global economy, and so there’s nothing that’s going to be off limits,” she said.

The crypto industry has been lobbying regulators and lawmakers to shape how they oversee the sector. Cryptocurrencies have tumbled in recent weeks on fears of rising interest rates.

Regulators are moving closer to crafting new rules. Last week, the chair of the International Organization of Securities Commissions said global market regulators are likely to launch a joint body within the next year to better coordinate crypto regulations.

The collapse of so-called ‘stablecoin’ TerraUSD has also led some officials, including U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, to call on lawmakers to create a new regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase has increasingly tried to shape cryptocurrency regulation. In October, the company published a digital asset policy proposal in which it suggested that Congress create a new regulator to oversee the burgeoning industry.

In 2021, Coinbase spent $785,000 on lobbying efforts in the U.S., according to an analysis from Crypto Head. (Reporting by Hannah Lang in Washington; Editing by David Gregorio)