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Coinbase CEO Says Singapore’s Retail Crypto Curbs Jar With Web3

Singapore’s desire to be a hub for the so-called web3 industry runs counter to proposed restrictions on retail crypto trading, said Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase Global.

Singapore’s desire to be a hub for the so-called web3 industry runs counter to the city-state’s proposed restrictions on retail crypto trading, said Brian Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer of Coinbase Global Inc.

“Saying Singapore wants to be a web3 hub and at the same time saying we won’t really allow retail to trade” is “incompatible,” Armstrong said Friday at a panel at the Singapore FinTech Festival alongside Sopnendu Mohanty, the chief fintech officer at the island’s central bank.

Singapore is trying to restrict retail investors’ access to crypto trading to protect consumers from a volatile market that suffered a $2 trillion loss in the past year. For example, the city-state is moving toward a ban on leveraged token purchases.

Armstrong said he “would like to see Singapore embrace retail.” He added that both centralized crypto exchanges – of which Coinbase is an example – and custodians should be regulated like other financial institutions.

The vague term “web3” refers to a vision of a decentralized internet built around blockchains, the underlying technology of crypto. Asian economies, including Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, are pushing to be at the forefront of technology, expecting it to fuel economic expansion.

Mohanty said this week that Singapore has a long-term view of crypto regulation and is focused on utility. “The market we predict is that in the future, in web3 construction, the way you buy assets will change,” he told Bloomberg Television in an interview.

Coinbase reported a smaller third-quarter loss on Thursday as the largest U.S. crypto exchange reigned supreme in spending as it braced for potentially increasing “macro headwinds” that kick in next year.

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