Brian Armstrong – the CEO of Coinbase, the largest and most popular digital currency exchange in the U.S. – says that members of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approached him and his fellow crypto executives to see about the platform delisting all assets other than bitcoin prior to filing their suit against the company.
Coinbase was Given an Odd Choice
Coinbase is facing several charges from the SEC, which alleges that the digital currency firm operated as an unlicensed exchange-broker for many years. Coinbase representatives say they are very taken aback by the accusation given that, according to their statements, they met with several representatives of the SEC over a nine-year period to ensure the platform was always within legal bounds.
Now, it’s coming out that the SEC had very specific plans for the company, and it clearly warned executives that if they weren’t willing to do as they were asked, they would face severe consequences. However, Armstrong was adamant that delisting all assets other than bitcoin would have meant the end of the crypto space for good.
Armstrong commented in an interview:
We really didn’t have a choice at that point. Delisting every asset other than bitcoin, which by the way is not what the law says, would have essentially meant the end of the crypto industry in the U.S. It kind of made it an easy choice… Let’s go to court and find out what the court says. They came back to us, and they said… ‘We believe every asset other than bitcoin is a security,’ and we said, ‘Well, how are you coming to that conclusion, because that’s not our interpretation of the law,’ and they said, ‘We’re not going to explain it to you. You need to delist every asset other than bitcoin.
It has become clear in recent months and weeks that Gary Gensler – the head of the SEC – thinks all crypto assets are securities other than bitcoin. However, he and his fellow financial agents have become bullies in the sense that they haven’t worked to establish any clear laws or regulations regarding the digital currency arena. Rather, they’re simply going after all companies, both large and small, and trying to get them to comply with whatever rules they’ve secretly set through enforcement.
So Much Wrath
Gurbir S. Grewal – director of the SEC’s division of enforcement – mentioned in a statement:
You simply can’t ignore the rules because you don’t like them or because you’d prefer different ones. The consequences for the investing public are far too great.
Among the other crypto businesses to feel the wrath of the SEC as of late include Binance and Kraken, which was forced to forfeit as much as $30 million in penalties and end all its staking services and activities.