Coinbase SEC investigation could have ‘serious and chilling’ results: Lawyer

An investigation reportedly launched by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) into Coinbase’s alleged buying and selling of unregistered securities could have a “serious and chilling effect” on crypto exchanges and token tasks, in response to a authorized professional. 

Michael Bacina, an Australian digital property lawyer with Piper Alderman instructed Cointelegraph that the influence on exchanges and tasks could happen whether or not or not the tokens are in the end discovered to be securities. 

“Given many of the tokens the SEC has called securities in their insider trading prosecution are listed and trading on Coinbase and other exchanges, this investigation could have serious and chilling effect for both those exchanges and the token projects, whether or not an ultimate finding is the tokens are or are not securities.”

A Bloomberg report on Monday quoted sources saying the crypto change is going through an SEC probe into whether or not it improperly allowed U.S. traders to commerce property that ought to have been registered as securities.

The report cited three folks “familiar with the matter” as saying that the probe is being carried out by the Securities and Exchange enforcement unit. It is separate from its investigation into an alleged insider buying and selling scheme.

Bacina famous that Coinbase “could face very substantial fines” or probably be required to register as an change within the U.S. on account of the investigation.

However, he additionally famous that “given they have rightly identified key compliance incompatibilities between blockchain systems and existing U.S. market regulations, it may be difficult, if not impossible, for their current business model to exist as a licensed and registered exchange.”

“This action by the SEC wouldn’t seem aligned with encouraging pro-active industry engagement; Coinbase has a history of good faith engagement on regulatory matters and has indicated the SEC has reviewed their token listing criteria.”

Bacina famous that fit-for-purpose laws require business session, transparency and due regard to coverage issues.

“The greatest technique to foster the innovation blockchain and crypto can carry is with a clear engagement between regulators and the business, and clear steering being issued,” he added. 

“A CFTC Commissioner has rightly called this ‘regulation by enforcement’ and it’s not an ideal way to provide guidance or clarity to a rapidly growing and developing industry,” he said.

Coinbase fires back

Meanwhile, Coinbase has continued to deny it had listed any securities.

Paul Grewal, chief legal officer of Coinbase reiterated on July 25 to his Twitter followers that he is  “confident” in the platform’s “rigorous diligence process” which keeps securities off its platform.

I’m comfortable to say it once more and once more: we’re assured that our rigorous diligence course of—a course of the SEC has already reviewed—retains securities off our platform, and we sit up for partaking with the SEC on the matter. A refresher: https://t.co/SaacvrZEiU

— paulgrewal.eth (@iampaulgrewal) July 26, 2022

He additionally reshared a weblog put up he authored titled “Coinbase doesn’t listing securities. End of Story,” which was first printed on July 22.

Related: Cathie Wood sells Coinbase shares amid insider buying and selling allegations

News of the investigation on Monday coincided with a fall in Coinbase Global Inc’s share value, which tumbled 21% in a single day, in response to knowledge from NASDAQ.

On Tuesday, the crypto change noticed an enormous quantity of shares dumped by Cathie Wood’s funding agency Ark Investment Management — which bought greater than 1.4 million Coinbase (COIN) shares, amounting to simply over $75 million primarily based on Tuesday’s closing value. 

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