SEC Rejects Coinbase Petition for New Regulation


The SEC has denied the rulemaking petition filed by Coinbase, a US-based crypto exchange. In a statement published on Friday, SEC Chair Gary Gensler said he supports the Commission’s decision, which he believes is based on three reasons. According to Gensler, “existing laws and regulations apply to the crypto securities markets”, the SEC addresses the crypto securities markets through rulemaking as well, and “it is important to maintain Commission discretion in setting its own rulemaking priorities.”

He also noted that most crypto assets are investment contracts and therefore subject to federal securities laws. This is despite the fact that a US court declared that XRP, which the Commission alleged to be a security, was not.

SEC Commissioners Hester Peirce and Mark Uyeda, however, released a statement disagreeing with the Commission’s decision. According to them, the petition raises key issues related to new technologies and that addressing them is “a core part of being a responsible regulator.”

In the wake of the collapse of crypto exchange FTX, the industry has accused the SEC of doing nothing to protect investors amid its crackdown on exchanges. Gensler, however, said the existing laws are sufficient for investor and industry players’ protection. He also said that the SEC’s rulemaking as it addresses crypto securities does not support Coinbase’s assertion that “now is the right time” for a change to the rulemaking.

The SEC Chair noted that several crypto-related cases and undertakings are underway and results of these could inform whether or not a change to the regulatory regime is needed.

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