In a new update to the lawsuit involving cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company has demanded private emails from the regulator’s chairman, Gary Gensler. The exchange criticized the SEC’s move to block “reasonable discovery” from Gensler in its ongoing lawsuit.

In June, Coinbase asked Chairman Gensler to produce certain communications, including emails, the content of which reflected the SEC Chairman’s views on digital assets dating back to 2017.

However, the US industry regulator has challenged the company’s request, citing concerns about invasion of privacy. “To the extent that it is not, it is an improper intrusion into the private life of a public official, based on his or her decision to serve. Given also the utter lack of relevance of the documents requested and the potential chilling effect on the public service, the Court should quash the subpoena and issue a protective order.”

However, in responding to the SEC’s motion, the cryptocurrency exchange called the SEC’s argument unfounded, highlighting that the request was pertinent in view of the need to understand Gensler’s views related to digital assets and federal securities laws.

“What Mr. Gensler was saying in his private communications about the regulatory status of digital assets, and what market participants were saying to him about these matters, is a testament to the public’s and market participants’ objective understanding of what conduct the securities laws prohibit.”

Additionally, Coinbase cited precedent from the Ripple case. “As the Ripple court has confirmed, a document or communication need not be public to provide information about the public’s objective understanding of what regulators require of them.”

Coinbase also noted at the time: “It should come as no surprise that he may be subject to discovery in an action brought by the SEC — especially where, as here, Mr. Gensler has been an important public voice on the regulatory status of the digital asset industry.”

SEC and FDIC target Coinbase

In a new chapter of industry turmoil, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) recently took aim at one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase. The exchange has sued the regulators.

In two lawsuits, Coinbase has accused the SEC and FDIC of failing to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests, asking the court to order the agencies to comply with the requests, according to information published by The Block on June 27.


The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any person mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptocurrencies carries a risk of financial loss.


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