Since TikTok and Coinbase deal with regulators, some questions are easier than others

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We learned last night the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sent Coinbase a notice from Wells, a prelude to taking enforcement action against the U.S. crypto giant for possible “violations of federal securities laws.” The company intends to take the fight, said the CEO.

Separately, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is expected to testify before Congress this morning. The stakes for the social media service are high. The app has sparked concerns across the US political spectrum, including allegations about data security, user privacy, and possible interference by a foreign government.

The Biden administration wants the app’s parent company to sell it so TikTok can own property in another country under a different code of law. The Chinese Communist Party does not want it to be sold. Jackdaw is stuck in the middle.

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It should come as no surprise that well-known technical products are in the crosshairs of the regulations.

The total value of crypto assets is north of $1 trillion, many consumers are involved, and Coinbase is a leading company in a market that has evolved faster than regulatory oversight.

TikTok is incredibly popular in the United States, but suffers from a soured relationship between China, where its parent company is based, and the US economy that generates much of its revenue. Even worse for TikTok, it has at least operated in a way in the past that has directly undermined its ability to claim to be benign.

It strikes me how different the Coinbase and TikTok issues are in terms of content and also how we should think about them. In case you’re in a hurry, TikTok hasn’t earned the kind of trust it needs to operate in its current form and shouldn’t continue to do so. Coinbase, on the other hand, is a much more likeable company to consider. Let’s talk about it. (To be clear, this is my thinking aloud on these issues, not my speaking engagement for AapkaDost as a whole.)


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