Coinbase, one of the world’s largest exchanges, has been seeking clear answers from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its regulatory petition. It is not new that companies in the cryptocurrency sector are looking for greater regulatory clarity, and the tension between Coinbase and the SEC is a reflection of this incessant search.
Recently, in an attempt to obtain a definitive decision, Coinbase proposed an ultimatum: the SEC has 30 days to provide a clear response to the petition filed in July 2022. This highlights Coinbase’s commitment to ensuring that the rules of the game are clear to everyone involved.
We respectfully request an order to the SEC to act on Coinbase’s rulemaking petition within 30 days. 2/3
— paulgrewal.eth (@iampaulgrewal) October 14, 2023
The document presented on October 13 is assertive, showing that Coinbase will no longer accept excuses or delaying tactics from the commission. The company is firm in its position: “The SEC, on several occasions, has demonstrated evasions regarding our petition, appearing to deny our request without actually naming it as such.
Paul Grewal, the legal mind behind Coinbase, expressed his disappointment with the SEC’s lack of clarity, referring to it as a “bureaucratic pantomime.” In his words, “The SEC’s vague response only confirms the need for a writ of mandamus for the agency to take its responsibilities seriously.”
The relationship between Coinbase and the SEC has not been the best. Since last year, both parties have been exchanging legal barbs, with mutual accusations and lawsuits. In one case, the SEC even accused Coinbase of failing to comply with securities laws in its cryptocurrency offerings. Coinbase, however, chose to close the case, highlighting the regulatory confusion in the sector.
A few days ago, Grewal released an update on X (a platform formerly known as Twitter) showing a generic SEC position. The agency said it had “provided a recommendation” on Coinbase’s petition, but without going into detail. Grewal highlighted the urgent need for a formal response, especially considering the legal challenges that crypto companies have faced.
Today the SEC provided its court-ordered update to the Third Circuit in Coinbase’s mandamus action: yesterday the SEC staff made some kind of recommendation to the Commission related to our rulemaking petition. That’s it. That’s the whole update. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/eIPTaZrjR3
— paulgrewal.eth (@iampaulgrewal) October 11, 2023
It is evident that the cryptocurrency industry is eager for clear guidelines in the United States. Coinbase’s petition is just one of many calls for clarity on how laws apply to digital assets. Only time will tell how this soap opera between Coinbase and SEC will play out.
The views and opinions expressed by the author, or anyone mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment or other advice. Investing or trading cryptocurrencies carries a risk of financial loss.