Coinbase distances itself from CEO Brian Armstrong’s comments on SEC investigation

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Coinbase distances itself from CEO Brian Armstrong’s comments on SEC investigation

Coinbase has publicly distanced itself from statements made by CEO, Brian Armstrong, which suggested that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had requested the delisting of all non-Bitcoin crypto assets.

Earlier on July 31, Armstrong told the Financial Times the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made extensive demands during an investigation. According to Armstrong, the SEC told the exchange it considered all non-Bitcoin crypto assets to be securities and told Coinbase that it “need[ed] to delist every asset other than Bitcoin.”

Now, Coinbase has denied the SEC made any such demands. In a statement to CryptoSlate, the company called the Financial Times’ coverage an “inaccurate representation of the facts.” Coinbase went on to explain:

“Prior to litigation, the SEC did not at any point request that Coinbase delist any specific assets … The interview as published earlier today by the Financial Times omits important context regarding our conversations with the SEC.”

Coinbase also affirmed statements from an SEC spokesperson quoted in the Financial Times’ original article. The SEC spokesperson denied that their agency asked the cryptocurrency exchange to delist any specific assets.

Following Armstrong’s comments, an SEC spokesperson also denied that the agency had asked Coinbase to delist any specific assets. However, they acknowledged that individual staff could have shared their own view about which activities are appropriate under securities law during an investigation. The company acknowledged that any out-of-context quotations concerning delisting requests could have been published “deliberately or as a result of an oversight.”

Though the SEC seemingly did not make the supposed requests described above, it did file charges against Coinbase on June 6. The SEC’s filing labels several assets, including Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), and Polygon (MATIC), as securities.

The filing does not state that all non-Bitcoin assets are securities, nor does it ask the company to delist the assets described as securities. Instead, it seeks to have Coinbase pay penalties and comply with injunctions that are yet to be determined.


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