Coinbase Earn Is Particularly Vulnerable to Being Defined as a Security: Berenberg

The crypto exchange is still faced with significant regulatory challenges, the report said.

AccessTimeIconJul 18, 2023 at 9:59 a.m. UTC
Updated Jul 18, 2023 at 2:53 p.m. UTC

Investors were reminded of Coinbase’s (COIN) significant regulatory challenges after Friday’s market close, when the crypto exchange disclosed it had suspended retail staking services in four of the 10 states that say its staking offerings represent securities, investment bank Berenberg said in a research report Monday.

While the U.S. District Court ruled that Ripple’s XRP token is not a security in and of itself last week, it also ruled that XRP can be classified a security when used in certain transactions, the report said.

Coinbase Earn, the securitized product through which COIN offers staking rewards to retail customers, appears particularly vulnerable to being defined as a security within this context,” analysts led by Mark Palmer wrote.

Berenberg notes that staking was one of the topics of discussion last Thursday during the first pre-motion hearing in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) lawsuit against Coinbase.

“The commission’s arguments could gain support if any or all of the 10 states that initiated proceedings against COIN for operating an illegal staking program affirm that the program facilitates securities offerings,” the report added.

The German investment bank has a hold rating on Coinbase shares with a $39 price target. The stock closed at $105.55 on Monday.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Will Canny is CoinDesk's finance reporter.