Coinbase launches new crypto think tank to help shape policies

Sebastian Parker
Sebastian Parker
Last Updated on May 19, 2022

Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange, has established a “crypto native think-tank” to shape the global discussion about policies for digital assets.

Coinbase Institute, which was recently formed, will publish research on Web3 and crypto.

Coinbase appointed Hermine Wong as its Director of Policy to lead the institute. Her previous experience includes the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis, United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and she also worked previously at the Department of State.

A Coinbase Institute Advisory Board was also formed. It will include academics from law and finance at top universities like Harvard, MIT and Duke, as well as an academic partnership with University of Michigan.

The University of Michigan conducted surveys for both the U.S. Census Bureau (US Census Bureau) and the Department of Defense. Coinbase will be conducting an annual U.S.-based survey to measure the adoption of cryptocurrencies, sentiment towards digital assets, and partner with them on this project.

The first of a series called “Coinbase Primers” was published by the institute. It explains key issues within crypto. On May 19, it released the “Crypto and the Climate” report to justify the high energy consumption of proof -of-work blockchains such as Bitcoin ( BTC).

A monthly insight report on crypto markets was also published. It compared market movements in traditional and crypto finance. Each report will be focused on a specific theme.

Coinbase is attempting to influence the discussion around cryptocurrency. The institute’s formation marks yet another example. It launched a fact checking portal in May 2021. CEO Brian Armstrong stated that the blog would be used to “contain misinformation and mischaracterizations” about Coinbase and crypto.

Related: G7 Crypto Conference: Report: Global financial regulators to discuss crypto

In February 2022, the crypto exchange established a political action commission ahead of the November 8 midterm elections. Coinbase spent more than $1.3 million lobbying for 2021, making it the largest-spend blockchain company in that year.

Coinbase resigned from the Blockchain Association, the largest lobbying group in the crypto industry, in August 2020. This was believed to be protest at Binance.US.

In April 2021, the company created the Crypto Council for Innovation with Jack Dorsey’s Square now Block and crypto investment firm Paradigm. This group aims to engage governments and regulatory agencies as well as policymakers regarding crypto regulation.

Although the institute has not chosen specific policies to support, its next move is to publish original research that “will provide the public and policymakers, regulators and academics with better understanding of crypto’s diversity and interconnection to other economies.”