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Consensys Takes on the SEC: A Legal Battle for the Future of Ethereum

2 mins
Updated by Harsh Notariya
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In Brief

  • Consensys launches legal action against the SEC, challenging Ethereum's classification as a security.
  • Consensys' CEO emphasizes the importance of protecting Ethereum's open, permissionless nature.
  • The crypto community backs Consensys' latest move, with key figures criticizing the SEC's approach.
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In a bold move on April 25, 2024, Consensys, the entity behind the widely-used MetaMask wallet, initiated legal action against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

This lawsuit marks a pivotal stance in the ongoing debate over the regulation of the Ethereum blockchain, which stands as the second-largest platform of its kind globally.

Consensys Stands Up, Challenges SEC Overreach

Consensys publicly declared the reasons for its lawsuit on its official X account, stating two main concerns.

Firstly, the company argued that the SEC is wrongfully extending its regulatory reach to classify Ethereum (ETH) as a security. Secondly, Consensys criticized the SEC’s approach as detrimental to developers, investors, and institutions that rely on Ethereum’s robust and decentralized platform.

Read more: Crypto Regulation: What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks?

The core of Consensys’s argument centers on the nature of Ethereum itself. It highlights Ethereum as a platform for permissionless information and a symbol of human innovation that overly aggressive regulatory measures should not stifle.

Furthermore, Consensys has called upon others who share their grievances to voice their concerns against the SEC’s actions. Joseph Lubin, Ethereum’s co-founder and CEO of Consensys, underscored the significance of their legal challenge.

“We don’t take this step lightly, but we feel compelled to act. Ethereum is for everyone,” Lubin said.

In its lawsuit, Consensys refutes the SEC’s position. It emphasizes that Ethereum does not meet the traditional security criteria and that the SEC had previously indicated as much.

Moreover, the lawsuit accuses the SEC of inconsistent policy applications and attempts to regulate through ad hoc enforcement rather than clear guidelines.

This lawsuit comes when the SEC has been notably expanding its regulatory scope. It follows the SEC’s Wells notice issuance to decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap earlier in April.

The crypto community, including Uniswap’s founder, Hayden Adams, strongly supports Consensys’s action.

“Thanks, Joseph and Consensys for fighting back and defending our industry. We’re tired of the overreach and harassment,” Adams wrote.

Additionally, echoing the support for Consensys’ legal stance, Paul Grewal, Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase, expressed a critical view of the SEC’s approach.

“It’s time for the SEC to admit that it still knows ETH is a commodity, too. No more games. Thank you to Consensys for standing up against the SEC’s unlawful expansion of authority,” Grewal noted.

Read more: How Does Regulation Impact Crypto Marketing? A Complete Guide

Consensys has hired the renowned law firm Wachtell for their lawsuit. Wachtell is also representing Coinbase in its legal battle against the SEC. This decision indicates the gravity of Consensys’ challenge to the SEC’s position in the cryptocurrency industry.

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Lynn Wang
Lynn Wang is a seasoned journalist and content creator with over eight years of experience in digital marketing and cryptocurrency journalism. Her expertise lies in SEO strategy, blockchain technology, and Web3, where she has consistently delivered impactful content initiatives and engaged audiences effectively. Since January 2022, Lynn has been at the forefront of content and community efforts for BeInCrypto Indonesia. Under her leadership, the platform has witnessed remarkable growth,...