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Coinbase denies U.S. regulator’s crypto rule violation.

Coinbase logo displayed on a phone screen and representation of Bitcoin are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on April 15, 2021 (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

On Thursday, Coinbase Global (COIN.O) told the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it had not infringed any securities laws in response to a lawsuit threat.

In a Thursday SEC statement, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal claimed the crypto exchange would want to list securities. Still, they would not feel comfortable due to regulatory uncertainties.

“Coinbase does not list securities,” Grewal stated. In addition, Coinbase received a Wells notice from the SEC last month.

SEC spokespersons said the agency does not comment on investigations.

The event is the latest example of rising tensions between the crypto sector and the SEC, which believes many digital assets are securities operating unlawfully outside its control. As a result, the SEC has aggressively targeted crypto company intermediates for noncompliance.

“No law or regulation authorizes the SEC to charge Coinbase for the alleged violations in the Wells notice,” Coinbase’s Grewal stated, citing the SEC Chair’s apparent shift. “We are on the brink of a fight that doesn’t need to happen, and frankly shouldn’t happen.”

Gensler, the SEC chair, has advocated for increased regulation of crypto’s “Wild West” and registration of digital asset securities businesses.

Coinbase has asked a federal judge to force the SEC to announce new digital asset guidelines. In an interview, Coinbase’s deputy general counsel, Katherine Minarik, said the company would develop internationally as required.

“We are going to leave no stone unturned to push for regulatory clarity here,” Minarik added.


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