SEC responds to Coinbase’s second request for action: ‘Still no’

The court asked the SEC to respond to Coinbase’s regulatory clarity request last week


Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong | Artwork by Axel Rangel


The SEC has responded to Coinbase after a court requested clarity from the commission and gave them a seven-day deadline.

The SEC’s response is in Coinbase’s case against the commission — not the commission’s lawsuit against the crypto exchange.

The regulatory agency has said that the “mandamus petition should be denied.” Mandamus compels a government agency to act to fulfill its duties.

Lawyers for the SEC added that the “Commission has not decided what action to take on that petition in whole or in part—which is entirely reasonable given the breadth of the rulemaking petition and the fact that it was filed just months ago and supplemented by Coinbase more recently.”

However, the agency says that “Commission staff anticipate being able to make a recommendation to the Commission regarding Coinbase’s rulemaking petition within the next 120 days.”

In its response, SEC added that it believes that Coinbase’s assertions are “baseless.”

“Coinbase erroneously contends that the Commission’s enforcement of existing legal requirements, as well as certain statements by the Commission’s Chair regarding the application of existing statutes and regulations to crypto assets that are securities, constitute a sub silentio decision to deny Coinbase’s rulemaking petition,” the document states.

In a tweet, Coinbase’s chief legal officer, Paul Grewal, said that the filing conflates “the evidence of a decision those statements provide with an argument that the statements are themselves a decision.”

Loading Tweet..

Last week, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals requested that the regulatory agency respond to a writ of mandamus filed by Coinbase. 

The court ruling came after the SEC filed a lawsuit against Coinbase, alleging that the crypto company was running an unregistered exchange that listed multiple unregistered securities.

Specifically, the court wanted to know if the SEC was moving to deny Coinbase’s rulemaking petition or if the SEC needed more time to digest the petition. 

In late May, Coinbase filed a mandamus petition, essentially asking the court to oversee the regulatory agency’s regulatory approach to crypto.

Prior to the petition, the SEC had been ordered to respond to Coinbase’s regulatory clarity request.

To which the commission said, “Deliberating over the kind of significant changes sought by Coinbase, which could affect both crypto assets and the securities markets more generally, takes time—including, as here, time to weigh whether or not to initiate a rulemaking proceeding about such topics in the first instance.”

When reached for comment, Coinbase referred to Grewal’s tweet thread.

Update June 13, 2023 at 6:25 pm ET: Added comment from Coinbase.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research



Aerodrome is a "MetaDEX" that combines elements of various DEX primitives such as Uniswap V2 and V3, Curve, Convex, and Votium. Since its launch on Base, it has become the largest protocol by TVL with more than $495B in value locked, doubling Uniswap's Base deployment.


The former Valkyrie CEO chats with Blockworks about what she has her eye on as Cypherpunk Holdings’ new leader


Thursday’s CPI report shows prices are coming down more quickly than analysts had anticipated, renewing hope that central bankers will cut rates in the fall


If we tokenize all assets in a speculative rush, the risk of creating illiquid markets and trapped value will manifest on a large scale


Plus, Trump is headed to the heart of Bitcoinlandia with a speaking appearance at the Bitcoin 2024 conference


Meanwhile, stocks rally after Jerome Powell finishes his Capitol Hill tour


Plus, Blinks have reshaped many people’s understanding of what blockchains are capable of