Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States, is calling for an extension of the industry’s feedback deadline for newly proposed crypto rules by the Treasury of FinCEN’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
On December 21 blog post, Said Paul Grewal, Coinbase’s chief legal officer FinCEN’s recently released regulations regarding self-hosted crypto wallets. The blog post is an open letter to Kenneth Blanco, the director of FinCEN.
In the letter, Grewal viewed the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s new rules as an “unhappy and disappointing departure” from the company’s long-standing relationship with the regulator.
Grewal explained that the 15-day period FinCEN has granted the industry to respond to the new rules is not enough, especially given that it spans the Christmas holidays and amid the COVID-19 pandemic:
“FinCEN asked the public to comment in just 15 days, spanning Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day, in the midst of a global pandemic, leaving only a handful of real working days for comment.”
As such, Coinbase’s legal executive asked FinCEN to “reconsider its haste” and provide a typical 60-day notice and comment for the proposed regulation. Grewal noted that 60-day regulatory comment periods are a common practice at FinCEN in terms of the traditional financial industry. “For example, FinCEN’s Customer Due Diligence requirements for financial institutions provided for the traditional 60 days for notice and comment,” noted Grewal.
The director went on to say that a longer notice and comment period will provide the industry with “a real opportunity to participate in the review and comment process regarding the proposed rule, as required by law.” Grewal wrote:
“There is no emergency here […] Nor is there any reason to treat the cryptocurrency industry so differently from our traditional finance counterparts. […] The same rationale is all the more true in the midst of a global pandemic. “
Previously, big industry figures such as Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire criticized the new rules, attractive for regulators to work together with industry in adopting crypto regulations. Several members of Congress, including representatives Warren Davidson and Tom Emmer opposed the rumor ban on self-hosted crypto wallets on December 9.