Crypto Advocate Sees 'Silver Lining' for the Industry in SEC's Warning to Coinbase

Brett Quick from the Crypto Council for Innovation said the upshot could be clearer rules for digital-asset firms.

AccessTimeIconMar 23, 2023 at 6:28 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 23, 2023 at 6:55 p.m. UTC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s pending enforcement action against crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) may lead to more defined rules for the crypto industry, Brett Quick, head of government affairs at Crypto Council for Innovation, told CoinDesk TV's "First Mover" on Thursday.

The danger, however, is that crypto companies may simply move outside the U.S., she said.

“There are other jurisdictions around the world that are looking at ways to embrace the technology, to embrace the innovation and the developers that are working on it and they're establishing regulatory clarity,” Quick said.

On Wednesday, the SEC issued a Wells Notice to Coinbase for allegedly selling unregistered securities on its exchange and through its staking service.

“The silver lining, to the extent there is one of this type of development, is that it will force the establishment of case law that will inform how crypto is regulated and it will set some rules of the road for crypto to comply with,” Quick said.

In a blog post, Coinbase said it has met with the SEC more than 30 times in the last nine months, seeking more “reasonable crypto rules.”

Quick said that it isn’t so much that there are “onerous disclosure requirements” or hefty lumps of money to register, it’s that “there are elements of existing securities laws that simply don't work with the technological innovation of crypto."

Although there appears to be significant hurdles for the crypto industry to operate in the U.S. now, Quick said, it is vital that regulatory clarity for crypto is better defined in order to keep the United States’ innovative edge.

Coinbase is a member of the Crypto Council for Innovation.


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