June 23, 2024

The US leading crypto exchange, Coinbase, has argued the authority of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in crypto-related matters. 

In its final bid to dismiss the regulator’s lawsuit, the exchange stated that the SEC went overboard in its classification of Coinbase-listed crypto assets as securities.

Coinbase Lashed Against The SEC, Claiming Overstep In Regulatory Jurisdiction

Coinbase lashed out at the SEC through its filing in a New York District Court on October 24. According to the exchange, the SEC’s definition of assets that qualify as securities is too wide.

Further, Coinbase claimed that most of the crypto assets listed on its platform are not under the SEC’s jurisdiction.

The filing document mentions:

The SEC’s authority is limited to securities transactions. Not every parting of capital with a hope of gain qualifies, and trades over Coinbase are only securities transactions if they involve ‘investment contracts.’ The transactions at issue here do not.

Additionally, the exchange maintained that the SEC has radically extended its regulatory authority in the crypto sector. It stated that the agency spread its jurisdiction “over essentially all investment activity,” which is especially within Congress’ control regarding the situation.

Coinbase’s latest case filing follows the SEC’s rebuttal on October 3. Notably, the US securities regulator requested the court to deny Coinbase’s dismissal motion in the ongoing lawsuit.

Its rebuttal maintained that many of the listed crypto assets on the Coinbase platform are investment contracts under the Howey test. Recall that On June 6, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Coinbase as part of its enforcement actions within the crypto space. 

The regulator accused the exchange of violating the US securities laws via the listing of several digital assets that it classified as securities. Also, the agency stated that the exchange wasn’t registered under its regulations.

On June 29, Coinbase filed a motion for judgment, disputing the SEC’s claims. The exchange further cited that the regulator engaged in power abuse and violated Coinbase’s due process rights. Some possibilities could emerge in the SEC vs.

Coinbase lawsuit. Judge Katherine Polk Failla, in charge of the case, could request the presence of both parties in court for oral arguments. 

Based on the flow of their arguments, the judge could give a judgment on the case, dismiss it, or declare its movement before a jury to make a final decision.

No Limiting Function For SEC’s Crypto Definitions, Says Coinbase CLO

Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer, Paul Grewal, confirmed the exchange’s claims through a post on October 24 on the X platform. Grewal stated that the SEC’s definitions of crypto have “no limiting function at all.

The CLO maintained that the regulator’s actions have never been tied to the law. Grewal stated: “By arguing that any purchase in which the buyer hopes for an increase in value constitutes an investment contract- and therefore a security- the SEC is attempting a radical expansion of its authority.

Only Congress can do that, as the major questions doctrine makes clear.” He also went further to support the over-extension of authority”, stating, By arguing that any purchase in which the buyer hopes for an increase in value constitutes an investment contract, therefore, a security SEC is attempting a radical expansion of its authority.

Only Congress can do that, as the major questions doctrine makes clear. For now, the crypto community is watching the outcome of the case between Coinbase and the SEC following Judge Katherine Polk Failla’s decision whether to dismiss the case or not. 


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