Legal Storm Brewing For Coinbase: Lawsuit Claims Deceptive Practices

Legal Storm Brewing For Coinbase: Lawsuit Claims Deceptive Practices

Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, finds itself embroiled in a multi-front legal war. From disgruntled investors to the watchful eye of the SEC, the company faces challenges that threaten its operations and cast a shadow over the future of crypto regulation.

Coinbase Accused Of Selling Unregistered Securities

A new class-action lawsuit filed in California alleges Coinbase knowingly violated state securities laws by selling unregistered securities. The plaintiffs, a group of investors, target specific tokens like Solana and Uniswap, arguing they should be classified as investments and not mere digital assets.

They point to a possible contradiction within the exchange’s own user agreement, which may define the company as a “Securities Broker.” This lawsuit echoes a similar one already underway, suggesting a growing trend of investor discontent with Coinbase’s crypto offerings.

A screenshot of the class action lawsuit filed against Coinbase. Source: US District Court Northern District of California.

Coinbase Vs. SEC: A Battle For Regulatory Clarity

The most prominent legal fight involves the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC accuses Coinbase of acting as an unregistered securities exchange and broker by offering unregistered tokens. The company vehemently denies these charges and has filed an appeal against the initial ruling.

This clash highlights the core issue: the lack of clear regulations governing cryptocurrency. Coinbase, along with many in the industry, views this lawsuit as an overreach by the SEC, pushing for a more defined regulatory framework that fosters innovation without stifling growth.

Bitcoin is now trading at $64.493. Chart: TradingView

John Deaton Joins The Fray

Adding another layer of intrigue is the involvement of John Deaton, a prominent crypto lawyer known for his advocacy against regulatory overreach. Deaton has filed an amicus brief in support of Coinbase in the SEC battle.

This move signifies the industry’s unified front against what they perceive as stifling regulations. Deaton’s pro bono work highlights the high stakes involved, not just for the crypto exchange, but for the entire crypto ecosystem.

Beyond The SEC: GYEN And Staking Programs Face Scrutiny

Coinbase’s legal woes extend beyond the SEC lawsuit. A separate case accuses the exchange of mishandling the GYEN stablecoin, a cryptocurrency pegged to the Japanese Yen. Plaintiffs allege that the firm promoted and traded GYEN despite knowing of its volatility, leading to significant investor losses.

Additionally, the company’s staking program, which allows users to earn rewards by holding crypto, has drawn the attention of regulators. The SEC views staking as an unregistered security, while several US states have joined the case, further complicating the legal landscape for Coinbase.

Featured image from Salt&Light, chart from TradingView


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