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Coinbase Enlists Legal and Political Heavyweights in Battle With SEC

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On Friday, Coinbase, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, made an important announcement. The company has launched a new Global Advisory Council, which includes current and former US lawmakers. The board will provide “strategic insight and expertise” for Coinbase to help the exchange navigate the increasingly complex and evolving regulatory environment in the US and internationally.

Coinbase’s Advisory Board features several political heavyweights, including former Senator Patrick Toomey (R-PA), former Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), Chris Lehane of Haun Ventures, former Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), and John Anzalone Impact Research Poll. These individuals will work alongside other members of the agency, Coinbase’s Asset Management Regulatory and Academic Advisory Council, including former SEC Chair Jay Clayton and former CIA General Counsel Courtney Elwood.

The announcement comes as Coinbase is in the midst of a legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Coinbase received Wells’ notice from the SEC in March, warning of a pending lawsuit over securities law violations. In response, Coinbase has publicly sought countermeasures on its rulemaking petition, which aims to establish appropriate regulation for digital assets. The exchange hopes clarity from the SEC will enable it to challenge the oversight body in court on concrete grounds.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has voiced his frustration with the SEC and its approach to the digital asset industry. In an interview with CNBC earlier this week, Armstrong accused SEC Chairman Gary Gensler of taking “an anti-crypto view for some reason” and creating “lawsuits” that were “totally unhelpful to the industry in the US in a big way.” Armstrong believes that the clarity gained from a court decision in favor of Coinbase will benefit the entire crypto industry and the US more broadly.

Coinbase’s legal battle with the SEC has won support from the US Chamber of Commerce, which filed an amicus brief in support of the exchange last month. In short, the Chamber of Commerce accuses the SEC of deliberately causing uncertainty to hinder the growth of the digital asset industry. “This regulatory mess was intentional, not accidental,” says the brief.

The launch of the Coinbase Advisory Board marks a significant step for the exchange as it seeks to navigate an increasingly complex and challenging regulatory landscape. With the support of leading individuals and organizations, Coinbase is well positioned to continue its fight for clarity and proper regulation for the digital asset industry.

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