• July 21, 2024

SEC Denies Coinbase’s Request For New Crypto Rules; Chair Gary Gensler Supports Decision

According to a recent announcement, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has denied a request from Coinbase, one of the world’s leading crypto exchanges, for the establishment of new regulations specific to crypto assets. The decision shows the SEC’s position that the current regulatory framework is sufficiently strong to handle the crypto market without any hurdle.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler Supports The Decision

The Securities and Exchange Commission has turned down Coinbase’s appeal for the establishment of new regulations specifically for digital assets, asserting that the existing regulatory framework is applicable. SEC Chair Gary Gensler, on Friday, supported this decision, saying that current laws are already relevant to the cryptocurrency sector.

According to Gensler, the existing laws and regulations are already applicable to the crypto securities markets. He referenced the broad definition of a security in the 1933 and 1934 Acts, which covers more than just stocks and bonds, including “investment contracts.”

He also pointed to the Howey and Reves Supreme Court decisions, which have been foundational in determining what constitutes a security. These cases highlight the economic realities of transactions rather than their form. This approach has been consistently applied to crypto assets, with federal courts finding these standards workable.

The SEC noted that if a crypto asset is offered and sold as a security, it must undergo the disclosure process established by Congress. This is crucial given the numerous fraudulent schemes in the crypto space. The statement also dismissed the notion that identifying an “issuer” of crypto asset securities is not feasible.

SEC Focuses On Registration Compliance

The SEC highlighted the importance of registration and regulatory compliance for intermediaries in the crypto asset market. The Commission also addressed its ongoing efforts in rulemaking specific to crypto asset securities. It disagreed with the petition’s suggestion that the current time is right for the regulatory action it proposed.

The SEC also mentioned that it is actively engaged in several initiatives that could shape future regulatory changes. This includes the Special Purpose Broker-Dealers Release and other proposals concerning crypto asset securities.

The SEC’s statement showed the significance of the Commission’s autonomy in determining its rulemaking agenda. Acknowledging that the crypto market constitutes a minor segment of the broader capital markets, the SEC is directing its attention to sectors that require more immediate regulatory updates.

Before facing an SEC lawsuit as an unregistered securities exchange, Coinbase had sought a formal response from the agency in 2022. This year, they even approached a federal court to expedite the SEC’s reply.

The SEC, in a two-page response, denied Coinbase’s claim that existing securities laws are unworkable for crypto assets. After thorough consideration, the five-member commission denied the petition for new rulemaking, calling it unnecessary.

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