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SEC Takes Legal Action Against Coinbase Over Alleged Securities Law Violations

SEC Takes Legal Action Against Coinbase Over Alleged Securities Law Violations

SEC continues to sue crypto firms left, right, and centre.

Coinbase, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange based in New York, is facing a lawsuit from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The lawsuit centers around the accusation that Coinbase has been selling unregistered securities, a claim that has recently shaken the cryptocurrency market.

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As the SEC claims, Coinbase has allegedly been operating without the required legal status of a broker, a national securities exchange, or a clearing agency. This has purportedly allowed the company to evade the necessary disclosure processes governing securities markets.

The SEC points towards several tokens that Coinbase offers, such as Filecoin (FIL), Solana (SOL), Near (NEAR), Cardano (ADA), Chiliz (CHZ), The Sandbox (SAND), Polygon (MATIC), Voyager Token (VGX), Axie Infinity (AXS), Internet Computer (ICP), Dash (DASH), Flow (FLOW), and Nexo (NEXO), suggesting that these qualify as securities.

Further allegations from the SEC claim that Coinbase has been functioning as an unregistered securities broker since 2019. This is particularly significant as this period includes nearly two years leading up to Coinbase's initial public offering in April 2021.

The SEC is especially concerned about Coinbase's staking program, alleging that it operates as an investment contract, thus making it a security.

Coinbase has been contesting this point, arguing that its staking products do not fall under the category of securities. This is even though Kraken, another cryptocurrency exchange, recently settled similar issues with the SEC and ceased its staking services in the United States.

It is worth noting that, in March, SEC issued a Wells Notice to Coinbase.

Gary Gensler, SEC Chair, commented on the case against Coinbase, alleging that the cryptocurrency exchange has deprived its customers of essential protections designed to prevent fraud and manipulation. He added that the firm had avoided proper disclosure and safeguards against potential conflicts of interest.

Gurbir Grewal, the director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, voiced his position, stating:

As alleged in our complaint, Coinbase was fully aware of the applicability of the federal securities laws to its business activities, but deliberately refused to follow them.

The lawsuit from SEC comes just a day after the securities regulator sued another crypto exchange Binance over unregistered securities.

The case against Coinbase is a clear signal of increasing scrutiny within the crypto industry, a trend that is likely to continue as digital assets become more mainstream.

Gile K., Market Sentiment Analyst
Gile is a Market Sentiment Analyst who understands what public events may form what emotions. Her experience researching Web3 news and public market messages – including cryptocurrency news reports, PRs, and social network streams – is critical to her role in helping lead the Crypto News Editorial Team.
As an intelligent professional in public relations, together with the team, she aims to determine real VS fake news patterns, and bring her findings to anyone searching for unbiased news and events happening in the FinTech markets. Her expertise is uncovering the latest trustworthy & informative Web3 announcements to the masses.
When she's not researching the trustworthiness of mainstream stories, she spends time enjoying her terrace view and taking meticulous care of her outdoor environment.



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