Coinbase says SEC did not recommend delisting cryptocurrencies prior to lawsuit

Both Coinbase and the SEC have denied a report that the regulatory agency asked the exchange to delist specific assets


rafapress/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


The US Securities and Exchange Commission did not ask Coinbase to delist any specific assets before it sued the exchange according to new statements from the exchange and the regulator. 

A Coinbase spokesperson told Blockworks the article in the Financial Times claiming that CEO Brian Armstrong said that the SEC had made a “recommendation” to halt trading “in all cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin” was “an inaccurate representation of the facts.”

“Prior to litigation, the SEC did not at any point request that Coinbase delist any specific assets, which the SEC acknowledges in the same article,” the spokesperson said. “The interview as published earlier today by the Financial Times omits important context regarding our conversations with the SEC.”

The statement from Coinbase added that the original article “implied that the SEC ordered Coinbase” to halt the trading.

According to the original article, Armstrong told the Financial Times that the SEC said Coinbase needed “to delist every asset other than bitcoin” after stating that “every asset other than bitcoin is a security.”

However, Coinbase’s spokesperson said “this type of request could only be made following a majority vote from the Commissioners themselves. Per the SEC’s own assertion, the views shared in the FT article may have represented the views of some staff at the time, but did not represent those of the Commission more broadly.” 

“SEC staff does not ask companies to delist crypto assets. In the course of an investigation, the staff may share its own view as to what conduct may raise questions for the Commission under the securities laws,” an SEC spokesperson told Blockworks. 

Coinbase was sued by the SEC in June. The regulatory agency claimed that Coinbase is operating as an unregistered exchange and has targeted offerings such as its staking program as part of its claims that the company also sells unregistered securities. 

The two are engaged in multiple legal battles, as Coinbase pushes for regulatory clarity on the cryptocurrency market in the US.

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