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Crypto’s Longevity Depends On Regulation, According To Coinbase Exec

Tom Duff Gordon

Coinbase’s VP of international policy Tom Duff Gordon says policymakers will determine whether crypto is here to stay or not.

In a panel at the 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Tom Duff Gordon, Coinbase’s vice president of international policy highlights that crypto’s mainstream adoption would have to ride on the coattails of regulation that will “generate confidence for retailers.”

Last year’s market downturns have made crypto adoption rather slow – not to mention potential crypto users and policymakers being deterred from using digital assets due to crypto exchange FTX’s bankruptcy.

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“2023 for us could be a real inflection point in policy and a regulatory framework could be one of those things that helps to accelerate the accelerator side of the crypto downturn,” Gordon said.

Gordon remains optimistic for crypto’s future, as FTX’s high-profile collapse may result in the creation of clear regulatory guidelines and measures by the G20, as FTX “put crypto on all policymakers’ radars.” 

Meanwhile, things are also looking generally optimistic for crypto.

On Monday January 16, Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has been experiencing highs – with prices reaching up to $21,000 since November’s events with FTX’s collapse. 

Crypto assets have surged last week, outperforming stocks and commodities. Data from Monday shows that Bitcoin has been out of the “Fear Index” for the first time in 9 months (since the Terra ecosystem collapse) from “fear” to “neutral”, which may give investors hope to be bullish.

In an interview, Gordon emphasises that policymakers should recognise crypto even further. Citing “recession fears and a softer landing coming to the fore,” Gordon sees that crypto has the potential for mainstream adoption. Prior to that, a need for basic, “sensible and moderate” guardrails are required prior to introducing crypto to our existing financial system, says Gordon.

“We’ll see more institutional investors getting into crypto but I think we will see more traditional finance banks also beginning to explore this space.”

While noting that Coinbase has recently made some tough decisions – including the layoff of 20% of Coinbase’s workforce and a $100 million dispute with the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), Gordon is also optimistic that there will be significant moves from crypto speculation to utility in 2023.

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