Coinbase challenges SEC’s authority in court hearing

In this post:

  • Coinbase challenges SEC, questions crypto regulation.
  • Judge Failla’s past rulings favor Coinbase’s defense.
  • SEC crackdown on crypto firms raises industry stakes.

Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, faced off against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a pivotal legal showdown in a New York court. 

The hearing centered around Coinbase’s motion to dismiss the SEC’s lawsuit, which was filed on June 6, 2023, alleging violations of federal securities laws. This legal battle has far-reaching implications for the future regulation of cryptocurrencies in the United States, as it revolves around the classification of 13 tokens listed on Coinbase.

SEC accuses Coinbase of token listing violations

The SEC’s lawsuit targeted Coinbase, accusing the exchange of offering 13 tokens that should be classified as securities. These tokens include popular cryptocurrencies like Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), Polygon (MATIC), Filecoin (FIL), The Sandbox (SAND), Axie Infinity (AXS), Chiliz (CHZ), Flow (FLOW), Internet Computer (ICP), NEAR (NEAR), Voyager (VGX), Dash (DASH), and Nexo (NEXO). 

The agency contended that these tokens were subject to federal securities laws, implying that Coinbase should have complied with the associated regulations.

Coinbase’s defense

Coinbase vehemently contested the SEC’s allegations, seeking to dismiss the lawsuit. The crux of Coinbase’s argument is questioning the SEC’s authority over cryptocurrency exchanges. The exchange pointed out that when it received approval for its registration statement in April 2021, the SEC did not suggest any requirement for Coinbase to register as a securities exchange. This crucial point forms the foundation of Coinbase’s bid to have the case dropped.

Jeremy Hogan, a partner at Hogan and Hogan, acknowledged that motions to dismiss such cases are rarely granted. However, he noted that the district judge presiding over the case, Katherine Polk Failla, has a history of dismissing cryptocurrency-related cases. 

Judge Failla previously granted a motion to dismiss a case against Uniswap, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, in 2013, which involved allegations of selling “scam tokens.” This background has raised hopes within the crypto community regarding Coinbase’s chances of success in having the case dismissed.

Hogan also highlighted Judge Failla’s understanding of the technology and her recognition of Ethereum (ETH) as a commodity. He mentioned her belief that Congress should play a role in the regulatory process, which adds an intriguing dimension to the case.

Experts weigh In

Legal experts following the case anticipate a rigorous examination of the SEC’s position during the hearing. MetaLawMan, a crypto legal expert, expressed confidence that Judge Failla would pose tough questions to the SEC’s lawyers, indicating the depth of scrutiny the agency’s arguments would face.

This lawsuit against Coinbase is part of the SEC’s broader crackdown on cryptocurrency firms, which gained momentum following the collapse of FTX in November 2022. The outcome of this case could have profound implications for the regulatory landscape of cryptocurrencies in the United States.

Comparable to the Binance case

Coinbase’s legal battle with the SEC shares similarities with the case against Binance, another major cryptocurrency exchange. In both instances, the SEC urges the court to consider a recent ruling on Terraform Labs, which determined that the company had sold securities without proper registration. 

According to the SEC, this ruling justifies its actions against cryptocurrency exchanges.

The outcome of these cases will not only impact the involved exchanges. Still, it could also set a precedent for classifying and regulating various cryptocurrency tokens in the United States.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision

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