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US judge says SEC suit against Coinbase can go ahead

Published 03/27/2024, 10:24 AM
Updated 03/27/2024, 10:26 AM
© Reuters US judge says SEC suit against Coinbase (COIN) can go ahead

On Wednesday, a U.S. judge allowed the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) lawsuit against Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) to proceed, dismissing only one of the agency's claims against the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country.

The Securities and Exchange Commission's lawsuit alleging Coinbase's violation of its rules was partially granted. This marks a partial victory for Coinbase in what could be a long and costly legal battle.

In June, the SEC sued Coinbase, arguing that the cryptocurrency exchange enabled the trading of at least 13 crypto tokens that should have been registered as securities. In addition, they claimed the company was illegally operating as a national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency without registering with the regulator.

The case against the world's largest publicly traded cryptocurrency exchange represents a significant milestone in the regulator's efforts to enforce U.S. securities law on digital asset companies.

So far, it has heavily relied on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that establishes criteria for determining whether an investment is a security.

A key point is whether returns are "solely from the efforts of others." Coinbase argues that, unlike stocks and bonds, crypto-assets do not meet this definition, a view held by the vast majority of the crypto industry.

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