Coinbase Vs. SEC: Who Shall Prevail In The Battle For Crypto Clarity?
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s recent comments comparing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to “soccer refs” in a game of pickleball have caused quite a stir in the crypto community. The remarks come after the SEC issued a Wells Notice to Coinbase, which usually precedes an enforcement action.
Imagine you've got both football and soccer refs on the field, but we're actually playing pickleball (fastest growing new sport in America). The refs can't really agree on the rules of this new game, and one of them decides to change a call they made back in April 2021.— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) March 22, 2023
Lack of regulatory clarity to blame
Armstrong has been vocal about the lack of clarity from US regulators when it comes to crypto regulation. He has argued that the SEC has not been fair, reasonable, or even demonstrated a seriousness of purpose in its engagement with digital assets.
This sentiment is reflected in a recent tweet by Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer, Paul Grewal, who claimed that the SEC provided “no clear rule book” on crypto regulations and that efforts to engage with the SEC are met with silence or enforcement actions
The truth is that today there is no clear rule book from the SEC on crypto, and efforts to engage with the SEC are met with silence or enforcement actions. They have not followed a good faith rulemaking process with industry, as required under the APA. 10/15— paulgrewal.eth (@iampaulgrewal) March 22, 2023
Crypto community rallies behind Coinbase
The crypto community has widely condemned the SEC’s recent actions against Coinbase, with many agreeing that the regulator has reversed its earlier position regarding the exchange. There is a growing sense that the SEC is failing to provide the clarity and consistency that the industry needs to thrive. Many have thrown their support behind Coinbase, with some suggesting that the firm is fighting on behalf of the entire US crypto industry.
They argue that an unclear regulatory environment is driving activity offshore and that greater clarity is needed to ensure that the U.S. remains competitive in the rapidly growing crypto market.
Netizens Supports Coinbase
According to Jake Chervinsky, Chief Policy officer of the Blockchain Association, Coinbase has put in a lot of effort to obtain regulatory clarity from the SEC. However, the SEC has given Coinbase a Wells notice, which is disappointing but expected from an agency that primarily regulates through enforcement.
Fortunately, Coinbase is prepared to fight back and has a strong legal position. It’s important to remember that the SEC only makes allegations and doesn’t create laws. Ultimately, the courts will determine if the SEC’s allegations are accurate, and in this case, the SEC may be incorrect.
Coinbase has spent an extraordinary amount of time and resources working in good faith to seek regulatory clarity from the SEC.— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) March 22, 2023
The idea that they'd be rewarded with nothing but a Wells notice is sad, but not surprising from an agency best known for regulating by enforcement. https://t.co/BZ4a9AefEF
Tony Edward, The host of Thinking Crypto Podcast, alleges that the regulator, Gary Gensler, is corrupt and had meetings with Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX officials multiple times, with the intention of creating a monopoly despite the ongoing fraud. He also claims that despite the SEC approving Coinbase’s public listing, they are now attacking the company.
Remember folks, corrupt regulator @GaryGensler had Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX officials in his office multiple times and was about to make them a monopoly despite the massive fraud that was happening.— Tony Edward (Thinking Crypto Podcast) (@ThinkingCrypto1) March 23, 2023
The SEC green lighted Coinbase going public and is now attacking them.…
Justin Sun was also charged with fraud and selling unregistered securities by SEC. However, in a recent tweet, he expressed confidence that the SEC’s legal complaint against his company lacks merit. He revealed that despite the legal hurdle, his company is still focused on building a decentralized financial system.
Furthermore, he acknowledges that the digital assets’ regulatory framework is still in its early stages and needs development. His company is willing to work with governments and regulatory bodies to establish clear guidelines for the crypto industry. Interestingly, Dominica recently adopted TRX and BTT as legal tender, indicating the growing significance of cryptocurrency.
The SEC’s civil complaint earlier today is just the latest example of actions it has taken against well known players in the blockchain and crypto space. We believe the complaint lacks merit, and in the meantime will continue building the most decentralized financial system.— H.E. Justin Sun 孙宇晨 (@justinsuntron) March 23, 2023
With the SEC breathing down their necks, Coinbase is prepared to go all out in their legal battle. The crypto community has rallied behind them, with many pointing out the regulatory inconsistencies hurting the US crypto market.
Despite this lack of clarity, Coinbase remains determined to see the industry thrive and is open to collaborating with regulators to create clear guidelines. The stakes are high, but Coinbase is ready to take on the challenge and defend its position.