The Chief Financial Officer of Coinbase says that fraud issues are with some centralised exchanges, and not with crypto.
Alicia Haas, CFO of Coinbase, was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, where she defended crypto, DeFi, and Bitcoin, saying that they are performing exactly as they are supposed to, and that the issue was with some centralised exchanges.
Haas said that crypto still needed the onramps where dollars, yen, or pounds etc., were used to buy cryptocurrencies, and that this infrastructure, as well as the crypto economy, were still being built out.
She said that the road for crypto was towards decentralised finance, but as it stood, there was still a need for centralised exchanges, and far more transparency. Also, regulation would need to be imposed on these centralised intermediaries.
When asked how companies such as FTX, and others like it had been allowed to operate in such a way, Haas said that for FTX it was simply a case of fraud, and that this had caused a cascading effect on crypto prices across the board.
The CFO was asked about the performance of Coinbase and the interviewer pointed to the $545 million loss the company had incurred last year, and the “ground number” of $2 billion this year, and the fact that the stock was down around 80%.
She replied that Coinbase had always done the right thing and had always leaned into regulation and compliance. She said that Coinbase had been educating its customers that crypto goes through cycles and that the company had strong customer protections and a strong balance sheet.
Asked how Coinbase does things differently to other centralised exchanges Haas replied that customer assets are held one for one in segregated accounts and had Article eight protection. She added:
“The digital assets we hold for our customers are not our property, they’re not available for creditors, that your assets are your assets and we are safeguarding them for you on our platform.”
As far as regulation and compliance goes, Haas said that she hopes the industry can provide its own cryptographic solution, but says that whether the solution is traditional or cryptographic, Coinbase would continue to drive for more transparency.
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