Coinbase CLO Grewal Critiques SEC Crypto Stance

Coinbase triumphs in SEC battle Federal Court approves request for oral arguments


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  • The SEC is not dropping its lawsuit against Binance, claiming crypto can be classified as securities.
  • Paul Grewal of Coinbase publicly challenges the SEC’s approach to cryptocurrency regulation.
  • The issue stems from Binance’s 2017 ICO for BNB tokens and the launch of Binance.com and Binance.US.

Binance Holdings Limited finds itself on the receiving end of a legal hardball as the SEC refuses to dismiss an ongoing lawsuit, intensifying the scrutiny over crypto exchanges. The SEC is leveraging the claim that digital assets can be classified as securities, which challenges the core operations of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume.

Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal took to Twitter to critique the SEC’s position. He articulated that the SEC’s approach to crypto regulation might be overstepping its legal boundaries. His tweets dissected the SEC’s argument, highlighting perceived inconsistencies and a lack of legal precedent.

The controversy dates back to 2017 when Binance, under Changpeng Zhao’s leadership, launched an ICO for BNB tokens to establish the Binance.com platform. The SEC now contends that this move may have skirted regulatory requirements and misled U.S. investors, particularly with the subsequent creation of Binance.US.

The SEC is pivoting its argument on the Howey Test—a Supreme Court metric for defining what constitutes an “investment contract” and, therefore, a security. The SEC’s interpretation of this test is currently under debate. They argue for a broader application that doesn’t necessarily hinge on the presence of a contract or enforceable right, a stance that Grewal and others in the crypto community reject.

Moreover, the SEC’s recent filings indicate that the entire gamut of Binance’s offerings, including its staking programs and the sale of BNB and BUSD tokens, could be considered investment contracts. Grewal counters this by questioning the lack of differentiation between tokens like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which the SEC does not classify as securities and BNB.

Additionally, the SEC has referenced the Major Questions Doctrine in their memorandum. They affirm that this legal principle, concerning agency enforcement of congressional laws, should not shield crypto entities from regulation, contrary to what Binance may imply.

Grewal’s final tweet underscores the urgency for clear-cut legislation in the crypto sphere. It’s a sentiment shared by many industry experts seeking clarity in navigating cryptocurrency law’s labyrinth.

The unfolding situation highlights a critical juncture for the SEC and cryptocurrency exchanges. The need for definitive legislation becomes increasingly apparent as they grapple with regulatory frameworks. The outcome of this case could set a precedent for how digital assets are treated under U.S. securities law. This decision may reshape the future of cryptocurrency operations and their regulatory landscape.

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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Mutuma Maxwell

Maxwell especially enjoys penning pieces about blockchain and cryptocurrency. He started his venture into blogging in 2020, later focusing on the world of cryptocurrencies. His life's work is to introduce the concept of decentralization to people worldwide.

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