Crypto exchange Coinbase has added another political bigwig to its Global Advisory Council, with the UK’s former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne joining as an advisor.
“Osborne brings decades of experience both at the highest levels of government and in international finance and fintech investing,” Coinbase said in a statement accompanying the announcement.
“George is one of the most experienced and thoughtful leaders in government and business, and we are grateful to have his advice and counsel as we expand Coinbase around the world,” Coinbase Chief Policy Officer Faryar Shirzad added in a post on Twitter.
In a statement, Osborne showed optimism for blockchain-based innovation, claiming that the technology is “transforming financial markets and online transactions.”
We are very pleased to have @George_Osborne join @coinbase‘s Global Advisory Council. George is one of the most experienced and thoughtful leaders in government and business, and we are grateful to have his advice and counsel as we expand Coinbase around the world.…
— Faryar Shirzad 🛡️ (@faryarshirzad) January 31, 2024
“Coinbase is at the frontier of these developments,” he added, according to CNBC. “I look forward to working with the team there as they build a new future in financial services.”
He joins the likes of former U.S. Secretary of Defence Mark T. Esper and former Republican Senator Patrick Toomey on the council, as the firm looks to beef up its establishment credentials while carving out a place for crypto in the global regulatory perimeter.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is responsible for preparing the United Kingdom’s annual budget, much like the U.S. Treasury Secretary. They also set inflation targets that the Bank of England is responsible for targeting with monetary policy, giving them additional roles similar to the U.S. Federal Reserve.
During his term, Osborne launched several austerity measures to balance the nation’s budget, including reducing housing benefits and child benefits. He also cut corporate taxes to try and stimulate business activity.
Today, Osborne is a partner at boutique investment bank Robey Warshaw LLP.
Coinbase around the world
While Coinbase faces down a lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over its crypto staking program, the exchange has acquired several licenses internationally in countries including France, Spain, Singapore, and Bermuda.
Speaking on stage with Osborne at the Innovate Finance Global Summit in London last year, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said the exchange might consider investing more heavily abroad, if not outright “relocating” if regulatory clarity didn’t emerge within U.S. borders.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla queried whether the SEC’s interpretation of securities laws in its case against Coinbase was “sweeping too broadly.” Legal experts were largely impressed with Coinbase’s court arguments against the regulator this month, with some giving the exchange a 70% of dismissing the lawsuit.