Coinbase Criticises SEC for dodging questions in ongoing legal battle

Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, has strongly criticised the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its failure to address questions raised in the U.S. Court of Appeals during their ongoing legal dispute.

In a letter filed on June 17, Coinbase’s lawyers confronted the SEC, accusing the regulatory body of evading their rulemaking petition. The petition urges the SEC to establish a regulatory framework for digital assets, a request that has gone unanswered by the Commission.

Coinbase’s letter highlighted the SEC’s reluctance to provide straightforward answers, instead resorting to repetitive talking points when confronted with the stark inconsistency between its litigating position and its actions and statements elsewhere. The response came in the wake of the SEC’s request on June 13, wherein they sought an additional 120 days to respond to Coinbase’s rulemaking petition.

The exchange argued that the SEC’s silence and prolonged delays, coupled with its enforcement actions, continue to impose significant burdens on the cryptocurrency industry. Coinbase expressed concerns that SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s actions could potentially cause irreparable damage to both a U.S. public company and the entire industry.

Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer, Paul Grewal, took to Twitter, expressing his surprise at the government’s refusal to address a direct question from a federal court. Grewal expressed hope that the court would grant a writ of mandamus, a court order that would compel a government official to fulfil their official duties under the law, as the SEC had rejected Coinbase’s petition.

Coinbase is urging the court to set a deadline of 60 days or less, starting from June 13, rather than granting the SEC’s request for an additional 120 days.

The SEC recently filed a lawsuit against Coinbase, alleging that the trading platform violated various securities rules. Among the allegations is Coinbase’s purported offering of cryptocurrencies that the SEC considers to be unregistered securities.