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The SEC can sue Coinbase for offering unregistered securities, judge rules

Illustration of the Coinbase wordmark on a teal, blue, and black background with circular patterns.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The question of who gets to regulate crypto has some answers, as a judge has ruled the Securities and Exchange Commission’s securities lawsuit against Coinbase can continue. US District Judge Katherine Polk Failla ruled that under federal securities laws, “the SEC has sufficiently pleaded that Coinbase operates as an exchange, as a broker, and as a clearing agency under the federal securities laws, and, through its Staking Program, engages in the unregistered offer and sale of securities.”

Despite arguments from some in the crypto community that existing laws are inadequate, the judge rejected those claims directly, writing, “The ‘crypto’ nomenclature may be of recent vintage, but the challenged transactions fall comfortably within the…

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