Coinbase has been engaged in a year-long battle with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), seeking clear regulations regarding digital assets.
After receiving no response to its initial petition filed in July 2022, Coinbase filed another petition in April with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, citing the unreasonable agency delay. This recent petition, known as a writ of mandamus, has garnered considerable support from various industry players, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC), the largest lobbying organization in the country.
Could the lack of regulatory clarity and reluctance from the United States drive cryptocurrency innovation to other countries? It might be worth considering how the European Union or Switzerland handle the classification of digital tokens. Is the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) solely to blame?
While the SEC is often portrayed as a villain in the crypto world, it could be constrained by the absence of comprehensive cryptocurrency legislation from Congress. The absence of clear guidelines for distinguishing securities and determining compliance paths for such assets pushes some businesses away from the U.S., according to Carol Goforth, a distinguished law professor at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville.
With no federal legislation in place, the SEC may indeed be limited in its actions. However, some critics hold a more negative view of the agency. Jason Gottlieb, a partner at Morrison Cohen law firm, believes that the SEC's approach discourages investment in innovative technology companies in the United States, causing responsible companies to seek opportunities elsewhere.