Disclaimer: This article has been updated with comments from Coinbase denying the original Financial Times article.
Coinbase has denied a report saying its CEO Brian Armstrong said it was once told by the United States securities regulator to delist all cryptocurrencies on its platform except for Bitcoin (BTC).
In a July 31 interview with the Financial Times, Armstrong reportedly claimed the Securities and Exchange Commission wanted Coinbase to delist the nearly 250 tokens on its platform prior to it filing a lawsuit against the exchange.
Armstrong was quoted as saying the SEC believes “every asset other than Bitcoin is a security” and recounted an exchange with SEC staff where they said, “we’re not going to explain it to you; you need to delist every asset other than Bitcoin.”
A Coinbase spokesperson told Cointelegraph, however, that the FT report omits context regarding its conversations with the SEC and was inaccurate.
The SEC didn’t request Coinbase delist any specific assets as that type of request could only be made following a majority vote from the SEC’s commissioners, the spokesperson said.
“The views shared in the FT article may have represented the views of some staff at the time, but did not represent those of the Commission more broadly,” they added.
The SEC told the FT its enforcement division does not make formal requests for “companies to delist crypto assets” but that its staff may share its view on what actions could violate securities laws.
SEC Chair Gary Gensler has previously claimed in a February New York Magazine interview that “everything other than Bitcoin” is a security under the agency’s remit.
There’s nothing about the crypto securities markets that suggests that investors & issuers are less deserving of the protections of our securities laws.
Congress could have said in the 1930s that the securities laws applied only to stocks & bonds.
For more, read my remarks:
— Gary Gensler (@GaryGensler) June 12, 2023
The SEC sued Coinbase in early June, alleging it operated as an unregistered exchange and named 13 cryptocurrencies it said Coinbase offered as unregistered securities. Days earlier, the regulator filed a similar complaint against Binance.
Related: Pro-XRP lawyer claims SEC prioritizes corporate capitalism over investors
Crypto industry oversight in the U.S. hasn’t landed on any one regulator, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the SEC have both taken regulatory action against crypto industry players.
Legislation that would mostly hand crypto jurisdiction to the CFTC and clarify the SEC’s crypto-related role passed the House Agricultural Committee on July 27 after its earlier passage through the House Financial Services Committee.
Collect this article as an NFT to preserve this moment in history and show your support for independent journalism in the crypto space.
Magazine: Crypto regulation — Does SEC Chair Gary Gensler have the final say?
Update (Aug. 1, 10:40 pm UTC): This article has been updated to include comments from Coinbase.