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Coinbase’s petition for crypto-specific rules rejected by SEC


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has turned down a request from Coinbase, a major American crypto exchange, for the creation of customized regulations for digital assets. The decision, revealed on Friday, highlights the SEC’s position that the current securities framework is suitable for overseeing crypto asset securities.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler, in a statement accompanying the denial, emphasized that the existing laws adequately address crypto asset securities. He pointed to the SEC’s ongoing efforts in proposing rules aimed at regulating crypto businesses and noted the enforcement division’s success in addressing industry misconduct. Gensler also stressed the importance of the commission’s discretion in establishing its rulemaking priorities.

In 2022, Coinbase had initially pressured the SEC for a response to its request for a more tailored regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. This move was made before Coinbase faced a lawsuit from the SEC, accusing it of operating as an unregistered securities exchange.

Paul Grewal, Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer, expressed disappointment with the SEC’s decision, calling it a “failure to fulfill its duty.” Grewal argued for the need for clearer laws and regulations in the crypto industry and announced plans to challenge the SEC’s rejection in court.

Commissioners Hester Peirce and Mark Uyeda, who opposed the SEC’s denial, encouraged ongoing dialogue and specific rule changes to support the crypto industry’s growth within the United States.

The debate over crypto regulation

The SEC’s decision comes amid a broader debate over the necessity for industry-specific regulations for cryptocurrencies in the U.S. While legislative efforts in Congress have shown progress, they have yet to be finalized. The Financial Stability Oversight Council, which includes the SEC chairman, recently concluded in its annual report that the crypto industry requires Congress to intervene with regulations.

The rejection of Coinbase’s petition marks a crucial moment in the ongoing discussion about the appropriate regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. As the industry continues to evolve, the need for clear and effective regulations remains a critical issue for stakeholders and regulators alike.

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