Coinbase Inc. said it is willing to take its legal fight with the US Securities Exchange Commission all the way to the nation’s highest court as the government agency widens its crackdown on tokens that it considers listed securities.
“If it takes going to the Supreme Court, that’s what we’re prepared to do,” Coinbase’s top lawyer, Paul Grewal, said in an interview, adding that he believes the company will prevail. “I think that every court that looks at this issue is going to conclude the SEC has fundamentally gotten this wrong.”
The SEC sued the biggest US crypto exchange on Tuesday, alleging in a 101-page complaint that the company has evaded rules in allowing users to trade tokens that were actually securities unregistered. The regulator is seeking an order that would require Coinbase to comply with securities laws, and give up what the agency says were ill-gotten gains.
Grewal said that working through enforcement actions could take many months or even years, though the agency’s suit applies to a limited subset of the company’s revenue-generating businesses.
The SEC also alleged that Coinbase failed to register the offer and sale of its staking-as-a-service program, a business that offers users a return in exchange for putting up tokens in order to help facilitate transactions via blockchain.
In a separate matter, a US court of appeals filed an order asking the SEC to submit a letter within seven days to address whether its has denied Coinbase’s petition for rulemaking, and how much additional time the agency requires in order to make a decision.
By Sonali Basak / Bloomberg