SEC Sues Coinbase, Largest U.S. Crypto Trading Platform

Coinbase repeatedly worked to facilitate regulatory compliance

Jun 6, 2023

On Tuesday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Coinbase for allegedly operating as an unregistered securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency. The lawsuit claims that Coinbase has been operating as an unregistered broker since 2019, although Coinbase went public in 2021, a process that required reporting to and approval from the SEC.

Over the past year, Coinbase has publicly disclosed its efforts to work with the SEC to develop a process for registration of its platform. Faced with regulatory uncertainty, the company has called on the SEC to disclose its registration requirements so that Coinbase can comply with the agency.

“This is a bad faith lawsuit against a crypto platform that has made every effort to comply with the law,” said Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich. “Imagine if you waited ten hours at the DMV trying to update your car’s registration, only for the DMV to ticket your car for no registration while you’re in line. If we want a safe crypto industry here in the US, we should be encouraging the kind of regulatory compliance that Coinbase has shown a willingness to pursue.”

Last week, Kovacevich published an op-ed in the American Banker urging U.S. regulators to offer clear and consistent crypto guidelines in order to ensure consumers have safe, domestic options for trading digital assets.