Chamber of Commerce Backs Coinbase in SEC Fight With Scathing Amicus

The Chamber of Commerce claims that the SEC “is causing great economic harm” with the lack of clear regulations for digital assets


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The US Chamber of Commerce voiced its support for Coinbase in a new filing on Tuesday, May 9.

It said that, by refusing to respond to Coinbase in its petition to get a clearer regulatory picture, the US SEC is “causing substantial economic harm to both Coinbase and the broader business community.”

In the amicus brief filed in the case of Coinbase vs. SEC, the Chamber of Commerce said that it supports Coinbase as it seeks to get regulatory clarity on what a security is in the eyes of the SEC. 

An amicus brief is filed when a party has a “strong interest” in the case or the outcome of the case, according to Cornell’s Legal Information Institute. 

“The Chamber’s members have a strong interest in regulatory clarity, and many of its members are companies subject to US securities laws that may be adversely affected by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s current approach to digital assets,” the brief stated.

The Chamber of Commerce, founded in 1912, is the “world’s largest business organization,” and works on Capitol Hill to advocate for US businesses. 

The Chamber of Commerce wrote that the SEC has shown that it has no interest in addressing Coinbase’s concerns after Coinbase petitioned the commission last summer to give the digital asset sector a clearer idea of the regulatory approach.

Last July, the exchange requested that the SEC propose and adopt rules that would identify which digital assets fall under its securities laws. 

The uncertainty is stifling innovation, the Chamber of Commerce argues. 

“The digital-asset industry offers a case study in how regulatory uncertainty undermines innovation. Before the Commission began rattling its saber, the industry grew quickly—reaching a trillion dollars in market capitalization by early 2021,” the brief said.

The SEC’s actions could have broader implications to the general economy and could also impact strategy and interests. 

“Americans lose out on the practical benefits that digital-asset products can provide, such as making the financial system more inclusive for the previously unbanked,” it argued.

By focusing on regulation by enforcement, the SEC is not testing its legal claims in court because it settles its enforcement actions with companies. It also leaves companies to “accept the risk of future litigation—and the associated financial burdens—or they can stop engaging in conduct that the agency might or might not ultimately target.”

The SEC issued a Wells notice to Coinbase in March, alleging that the exchange violated laws around its spot market, staking service, Coinbase Prime and Coinbase Wallet.

The SEC was given 10 days to respond to Coinbase on May 4. 

The Chamber of Commerce did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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