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Kraken Fights Back Against SEC's Lawsuit with Dismissal Request

Kraken Fights Back Against SEC's Lawsuit with Dismissal Request

Key Takeaways

  • Kraken is seeking to dismiss the SEC lawsuit, arguing it represents an overreach of the agency's authority.
  • The crypto exchange challenges the SEC's broad definition of investment contracts, fearing it could apply to a wide range of common assets.
  • The case is part of a larger debate on cryptocurrency regulation, with implications for the industry's regulatory landscape.

Kraken, the cryptocurrency exchange, has sought the dismissal of a lawsuit brought against it by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last November.

The legal battle, which has its roots in the SEC's claim of unlawful activities by Kraken, is now seeing the crypto firm push back, citing concerns over regulatory overreach that could redefine the boundaries of the SEC's authority.

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At the core of Kraken's plea for dismissal, filed in a federal court in San Francisco, is a dispute over the SEC's claim that the cryptocurrencies traded on its platform are considered "investment contracts" under US securities law.

Kraken argues that the SEC's definition of an investment contract is overly broad and asserts that the relationship between its customers and the issuers of the crypto does not fall into that category.

In a statement on its blog, Kraken also criticizes the SEC's expansive definition of securities. The argument is that it could unjustly apply to virtually any asset sold with speculative intent, therefore giving the SEC too much authority:

It would grant to the SEC boundless authority over commerce and potentially open up the floodgates to private securities law claims. It would turn a broad range of ordinary assets or commodities, like sports memorabilia, trading cards, expensive watches, or even diamonds, into securities.

Notably, Kraken's motion invokes the major questions doctrine, a legal principle asserting that federal agencies require clear congressional authorization to issue regulations on matters of significant importance.

This legal skirmish between Kraken and the SEC is unfolding against a backdrop of broader debates on crypto regulation in the United States.

With the US Congress considering multiple bills aimed at governing the crypto industry, the outcome of Kraken's challenge may have significant implications for how digital assets are regulated moving forward.

Kraken's challenge to the SEC lawsuit represents a critical moment in the ongoing dialogue between the crypto industry and regulatory bodies. The outcome of this case could set a precedent for how digital assets are classified and regulated, shaping the future of cryptocurrency markets in the United States.

This is not the first legal battle that Kraken was involved in. In 2023, the crypto exchange received summons demanding to release data of users to the IRS.

Aaron S., Editor-In-Chief
Having completed a Master’s degree in Economics, Politics, and Cultures of the East Asia region, Aaron has written scientific papers analyzing the differences between Western and Collective forms of capitalism in the post-World War II era.
With close to a decade of experience in the FinTech industry, Aaron understands all of the biggest issues and struggles that crypto enthusiasts face. He’s a passionate analyst who is concerned with data-driven and fact-based content, as well as that which speaks to both Web3 natives and industry newcomers.
Aaron is the go-to person for everything and anything related to digital currencies. With a huge passion for blockchain & Web3 education, Aaron strives to transform the space as we know it, and make it more approachable to complete beginners.
Aaron has been quoted by multiple established outlets, and is a published author himself. Even during his free time, he enjoys researching the market trends, and looking for the next supernova.



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