SEC vs Coinbase – What They Said

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  • The SEC yesterday sued Coinbase over unregistered sales of securities
  • The move represented a second effort this week by the SEC to target crypto exchanges
  • What were the thoughts of the biggest players regarding the move?

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday accused Coinbase of multiple infractions of securities laws, claiming that it sold 13 cryptocurrencies it viewed as securities. Let’s find out what the movers and shakers of the pro-crypto and anti-crypto world thought about the case.

Gary Gensler, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair

Coinbase’s alleged failures deprive investors of critical protections, including rulebooks that prevent fraud and manipulation, proper disclosure, safeguards against conflicts of interest, and routine inspection by the SEC.


Gurbir Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement

You simply can’t ignore the rules because you don’t like them or because you’d prefer different ones: the consequences for the investing public are far too great. As alleged in our complaint, Coinbase was fully aware of the applicability of the federal securities laws to its business activities, but deliberately refused to follow them. While Coinbase’s calculated decisions may have allowed it to earn billions, it’s done so at the expense of investors by depriving them of the protections to which they are entitled. Today’s action seeks to hold Coinbase accountable for its choices.


Kevin O’Leary, FTX Investor

The charges brought by the #sec against @coinbase and @binance are the beginning of a new era for #crypro and the #cryptoinvestor. The day of the unregulated exchange, #fraud #rouge operators and opaque ownership, is coming to an end. Sweep out the old and bring in the new!


Brian Armstrong, CEO Coinbase

Instead of publishing a clear rule book, the SEC has taken a regulation by enforcement approach that is harming America. So if we need to avail ourselves of the courts to get clarity, so be it.


Senator Cynthia Lummis

The SEC has failed to provide a path for digital asset exchanges to register, and even worse has failed to provide adequate legal guidance on what differentiates a security from a commodity. The SEC’s continued reliance on regulation by enforcement continues to harm consumers. Real consumer protection requires creating a robust legal framework that exchanges can comply with, not pushing the industry offshore or into the shadows. This is why Congress needs to pass the Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act.


Senator Bill Hagerty

The @SECGov is weaponizing their role to kill an industry. Allowing a company to list publicly and then stonewalling their attempts to register is indefensible. @GaryGensler, expect to hear from Congress.


Changpeng Zhao, BEO Binance

If you have to pick a fight with everyone, maybe you are the one at fault. 🤷‍♂️