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Paul Grewal criticizes SEC’s approach in Coinbase case following Debt Box mishandling

In this post:

  • Paul Grewal, Coinbase’s CLO, accused the SEC of deviating from its traditional Wells notice process in its case against Coinbase.
  • Grewal’s criticism stems from the SEC’s failure to follow routine procedures in a related bankruptcy case involving Debt Box.
  • Grewal pointed out that the SEC did not provide Coinbase with a comprehensive explanation of the charges, as is customary in the Wells process.

Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase, Paul Grewal, charged the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with moving from a traditional Wells notice process to penalizing the company for their case against Coinbase. Grewal’s criticism is a reaction to a disclosure of the SEC’s failure to use its routine procedures in a similar bankruptcy case involving Debt Box.

Coinbase CLO questions SEC actions

In a current X posting, Grewal pinpointed an important weakness of the SEC’s methodology. He noted that the SEC did not follow its usual Wells procedures for Coinbase. The typical Wells procedure involves the SEC submitting a comprehensive justification of the facts that led to the proposed charges. Nonetheless, Grewal showed the Coinbase authorities that they still needed to hear from them which assets they deemed securities.

Grewal’s statement was broadcast after the SEC filed a lawsuit on Debt Box. The SEC has stated that its staff’s “usual practice is to set forth an adequate description of the evidence”. Given this admittance, the SEC’s enforcement proceedings have come under scrutiny for their justice and openness. In Grewal’s opinion, the SEC’s absence of details as to the composition of the assets under question creates a serious question mark on the honesty of its claims against Coinbase.

The case of Coinbase getting a lawsuit filed against them by the SEC in June last year is an example. SEC claimed that the company engaged in the unregistered offer and sale of securities since 2019. This legal fight remains to be sorted, and just recently, the SEC sought the court to reject Coinbase’s appeal against the litigation. Critics of the SEC attack the agency’s actions as an instance of the SEC overstepping its authority. Some argue that the SEC should not be involved in crypto companies’ investigations.

A judge of the federal district court in Utah said in March that the SEC was poor in handling the Debt Box case. The judge used the words “gross abuse” along with “power misuse” to describe the SEC’s actions and emphasized the fact that this case was marred by “false statements” and “misrepresentation.” The criticism of the SEC’s strategy has become stronger. The resignation of two SEC attorneys who led the prosecution of Debt Box has raised even more doubts about the legitimacy of the case.

SEC enforcement faces growing industry backlash

Several industry figures have criticized the SEC’s approach to enforcement. Rodrigo Silva-Herzog, a special counsel at Cooley LLP, stated that the SEC’s move was comparable to carpet bombing and showed that they intended to kill anything that might be crypto. Hayden Adams, the Founder of Uniswap, also reiterated this opinion, chastising the SEC for criminalizing the industry’s “remarkable individuals” rather than populating standards with which these players could work.

The SEC has adopted a strong and enforcement-oriented position that has been met with growing criticisms regarding the lack of disclosure. Top industry people advocate that the current regulatory framework is counterproductive, marking a threat to crypto innovation and businesses operating in this field. Well-defined rule-making and regulation formation will encourage an environment in which the industry can flourish instead of being crushed.

These past legal cases against Coinbase, Debt Box, and other digital currency enterprises epitomize the broader difficulties that the sector is experiencing. The absence of definite regulation frameworks is a key problem, which may put companies in a far-reaching situation of enforcement proceedings accused of being prejudicial or unclear.

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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