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Coinbase Takes Action Against SEC in Quest for Crypto Clarity

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Coinbase wants a response to its petition for clarity.
  • The SEC has ignored it and continued to crack down.
  • Stand With Crypto NFTs are being minted in support.
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America’s largest crypto company Coinbase has taken the fight back to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

On April 24, Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal said the company had filed a “narrow action” in federal court.

The move seeks to compel the SEC to respond yes or no to Coinbase’s pending rulemaking petition. Coinbased filed the petition in July 2022 asking the SEC to provide overdue guidance for the crypto industry.

Moreover, it has since been ignored while Gary Gensler and his team have increased their enforcement actions against crypto companies.

Grewal said that the SEC is required by law to respond to petitions “within a reasonable time,” adding:

“It’s obvious that there’s a lack of clarity among our regulators regarding crypto, as even the chair of the SEC has declined to say which crypto assets are securities.”

Coinbase Seeking Clarity

The legal executive echoed the sentiment of the entire crypto industry and its users. He said that there is a need for clear laws and rules to follow that are built for new technology.

“Enforcement actions based in inapplicable securities law aren’t the answer.”

To date, more than 1,700 entities and individuals have submitted comments to the Coinbase petition echoing the request for clarity, the blog post stated.

If the SEC refutes the rulemaking petition, Coinbase would be allowed to challenge that decision in court. Moreover, it appears that the agency has already made up its mind judging by its war on crypto this year.

Grewal said it was an unusual step because it is not normally required, adding:

“But it is also unusual for an agency to bring enforcement actions based on a view of the law that it has not yet shared formally with the public.”

Coinbase is among many crypto companies that have been targeted by federal regulators, particularly the SEC, this year. Additionally, the company was issued a Wells Notice by the SEC threatening enforcement action in late March.

Last week, CEO Brian Armstrong hinted at a potential offshore move as the company was awarded a license to operate in Bermuda.

Stand With Crypto NFTs

On April 25, Armstrong minted a ‘Stand With Crypto’ NFT in support of ongoing efforts for regulatory clarity.

Stand With Crypto NFT
Stand With Crypto NFT

The project enables those in support to mint a blue shield badge for free to use on their Twitter accounts. Furthermore, the NFT is purely commemorative with an open mint and has no intended utility or value.

Any mint fees will from the collection will be donated to vetted organizations through a Crypto Advocacy Round with Gitcoin. At the time of writing, 7,309 had been minted.


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Martin Young
Martin has been covering the latest developments on cyber security and infotech for two decades. He has previous trading experience and has been actively covering the blockchain...