Coinbase to try to get SEC lawsuit dismissed

The cryptocurrency exchange believes the regulator is conducting a witch hunt

Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal said the company would seek to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), asserting that the crypto exchange never sold securities as alleged. Coinbase plans to file an order seeking dismissal of the SEC suit on August 4, with Grewal saying the company expects to win. He expressed his confidence during its second-quarter earnings call on August 3.

Grewal says Coinbase will argue it didn’t list securities on its platform, that the SEC has no regulatory power over crypto exchanges. The SEC never suggested to Coinbase it was required to register in April 2021 when declaring the company’s registration statement effective. He anticipates that the court will fully submit and evaluate the brief detailing the arguments by the end of October.

“Our goal across not just the litigation, but all of our efforts engaging with the SEC and engaging with the U.S. government as a whole is to achieve regulatory clarity,” said Grewal. He added, “The reason why we are so focused on pushing for regulatory clarity here in the U.S. is that at present, under the status quo, we have very conflicting messages about what the law provides,” said Grewal.

He also pointed out the inconsistent statements by SEC Chair Gary Gensler and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair Rostin Behnam regarding Ethereum’s legal status. In a March Senate hearing, Behnam stated that ETH was a commodity, while Gensler had previously said that all cryptocurrencies are securities except Bitcoin.

Grewal also added that many of the current laws applying to the space “were written well before the internet even existed.”

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