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So, the SEC just got a win against Coinbase – What do we do now?

TL;DR

  • The SEC won against Coinbase, proving it operated without proper registration, plus issues with its Staking Program.
  • However, Coinbase’s Wallet was excluded from the SEC’s claims, marking a partial victory for Coinbase.
  • The SEC’s accusations focus on Coinbase allowing trading of certain crypto assets considered securities, including 13 specific tokens.

Hey! Wake up and smell the legal documents because the SEC just scored a victory against Coinbase, and it is a big blow for all of us. Yes. Sad day indeed. This landmark decision might just shake the very foundations of how crypto platforms operate in the United States.

Unpacking the Legal Document

So here’s what went down. 

The court threw out Coinbase’s attempt to sidestep allegations by the SEC, effectively highlighting the platform’s operations as an exchange, a broker, and a clearing agency. All these titles come with heavy regulatory expectations under the US’s federal securities laws, and guess what? Coinbase has been doing its thing without the actual official thumbs-up from the SEC. Not to mention, their Staking Program’s caught up in this mess too, accused of offering and selling securities without registration.

But then! The court did give Coinbase a pat on the back, dismissing the SEC’s complaints about the platform’s ‘Wallet.’ So, I guess that’s some good news.

Now, moving on. The SEC’s beef with Coinbase revolves around the platform allowing trades of crypto assets that are, for all intents and purposes, being sold as investment contracts, a.k.a. securities. This includes a band of 13 crypto heavyweights like SOL, ADA, ICP, NEAR, MATIC, FLOW and a few others, making up the CryptoAssets list. Except for NEXO, which hangs out in Wallet territory, all these digital tokens are up for grabs for anyone who decides to jump on the Coinbase wagon. That sucks, no?

But the SEC didn’t stop there. Oh no, they’ve laid out an entire buffet of claims against Coinbase, and pointed fingers at CGI, Coinbase’s parent, holding it responsible for not reigning in on these alleged securities law violations. And for the cherry on top, Coinbase’s Staking Program is under fire for supposedly offering and selling securities without the necessary legal hoopla.

The Court’s Take and What It Means for Us

The SEC’s whole argument is leaning on established definitions of what constitutes an exchange, a broker, and a clearing agency. And when it comes to the big question – are these crypto assets securities? – the court looked at things through a lens that’s been polished by decades of U.S. securities law and said, “Uh, yes.”

Coinbase did try its luck with arguments about the major questions doctrine and other legal defenses, but man, the court wasn’t buying it. So yeah I guess, the cryptocurrency industry doesn’t quite tip the scales compared to other industries that have triggered the major questions doctrine in the past.

Moreover, the court said that the SEC’s filing this action was not an overreach of its authority in the least. If anything, it’s operating within the bounds set by Congress, tackling new challenges posed by new technologies like crypto. 

Meanwhile, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal were quick to drop their speeches on social media concerning the ruling. My boys are keeping it cool. Grewal said they have actually been preparing for this. His words were, “Early motions like ours against a government agency are almost always denied. But clarity is the ultimate goal and today’s decision continues us on that path.”

He added that he is looking forward to the final judgment where they’ll prove they’re right. He also thanked the Court for its understanding of the Wallet’s technology. As for Brian, he quoted Paul’s tweet with a simple, “Great progress on the SEC case – and huge win for self-custodial wallets. This ensures the onchain ecosystem will continue to innovate and create economic freedom around the world.”

So, where does this leave us? 

I don’t even know, you guys.

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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Jai Hamid

Jai Hamid is a passionate writer with a keen interest in blockchain technology, the global economy, and literature. She dedicates most of her time to exploring the transformative potential of crypto and the dynamics of worldwide economic trends.

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