Jerome Powell

Coinbase CEO Met With Federal Reserve Chair Powell

Jerome Powell

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell had a meeting with Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong on May 11, according to Fed records.

The meeting was held shortly before the Fed announced plans to release a discussion paper detailing its research into a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The Fed has been exploring the potential of issuing CBDCs as a kind of state-controlled “digital dollar.”

On the day before, Powell had a meeting with Christopher Giancarlo, the former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), about the Digital Dollar Project that Giancarlo heads.

Coinbase launched a dollar-backed stablecoin USD Coin (USDC), in a consortium with Circle. USDC is now the eighth-biggest cryptocurrency by market cap and the second-largest stablecoin behind Tether, with $25 billion in USDC in circulation for now, according to CoinGecko.  

Paul Ryan, the former Speaker of the House, was also present at the meeting, according to the record. On May 14, Armstrong tweeted a lengthy thread about his trip in Washington D.C. “to establish relationships and help answer questions about crypto.” He also posted a photo with Ryan in the thread.


Thailand SEC Files Criminal Complaint Against Binance

The crypto market crashed shortly after the May 11 meeting between Armstrong and Powell. Within that week, Bitcoin dipped from the high $50,000s to around $40,000, and plunged to the $30,000 level in the following week. 

On the other hand, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a criminal complaint against Binance for operating a digital asset business without a licence. 

Thai SEC said it had warned Binance over its activities in a letter in April but received no response. Thus, it then filed a criminal complaint with the Thai police.

Additionally, the Cayman Islands’ Monetary Authority said that Binance has not registered to operate in the nation. 

The country’s financial watchdog said Binance Holdings Ltd. and Binance Group were not subject to any regulatory oversight by itself. It has started an investigation on whether any of Binance’s businesses fall within its jurisdiction.