Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong hits back at SEC lawsuit on social media
"There is no path to 'come in and register,'" the embattled CEO tweeted; "We tried."
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong spoke out against the SEC’s decision to file a lawsuit against the exchange.
The SEC’s charges, filed early today, are based on the accusation that Coinbase has been listing securities without registering with the federal body. This has triggered additional actions from Alabama and New Jersey, heightening the scrutiny over the digital asset platform.
Armstrong responded to the SEC’s charges on Twitter, pointing out that the SEC reviewed and permitted Coinbase to become a publicly-traded company in 2021, thus rejecting the idea that the company was operating without oversight.
The Coinbase CEO wrote:
“Instead of publishing a clear rule book, the SEC has taken a regulation by enforcement approach that is harming America”
Armstrong noted Coinbase’s attempts to register with the SEC, highlighting the regulatory body’s lack of clear understanding with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regarding the classification of what constitutes a crypto security or commodity in the first place.
“We don’t list securities”
The controversy arises amid increasing confrontations in the U.S. between regulators and companies (or projects or protocols) operating in the industry. The sticking point in the arguments is in the technical definitions of securities and crypto assets, and whether a financial tool not invented until the 21st Century is subject to early 20th Century definitions or vocabulary.
Armstrong contends publicly that Coinbase does not list securities. “We reject the vast majority of assets we review,” he wrote, implying that the exchange relied on internal measures for making such judgments in the absence of clear language from the SEC.
These actions against Coinbase are all in the wake of the SEC’s decision to sue Binance, as well as its CEO Changpeng Zhao on June 5.