Coinbase CEO Willing to Fight SEC in Supreme Court

Brian Armstrong has asserted that company remains unfazed, expressing willingness to engage in drawn-out legal battle with the SEC.

Brian Armstrong and Paul Grewal outside of supreme court in black suits.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin
  • The SEC sued Coinbase earlier this week.
  • Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong maintains that the exchange is ready to defend itself till the end.
  • According to the Coinbase chief, the company is not going anywhere.

In the wake of the FTX collapse, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an all-out assault against the crypto industry. 

In the first half of 2023 alone, the agency has filed enforcement actions against seven crypto firms, most recently against Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the U.S. 

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In the wake of the lawsuit, Coinbase Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong has asserted that the company remains unfazed, expressing willingness to engage in a drawn-out legal battle with the SEC if necessary. 

Coinbase Prepared to Do Battle

In an interview on Bloomberg Invest New York 2023, Armstrong suggested that Coinbase was ready to fight the SEC case in the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Even if this takes some time – that’s OK,” he asserted.

In the same interview, Armstrong expressed that to the crypto exchange, the case was an avenue to bring more clarity to the industry, though not the route they would have chosen.

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"If we need to go to the courts to do it [get clarity], it's not our first choice, we'd rather the regulator had just published a clear rulebook, but if they're not going to do that the courts are there," Armstrong argued.

Despite the concerns over Coinbase’s business model in the SEC’s complaint, Armstrong has notably maintained that the crypto exchange will continue to operate as usual. 

At the same time, he has maintained that the crypto exchange has no plans to call it quits in the U.S. despite what industry participants have described as growing uncertainty regarding regulations.

Armstrong: ‘Coinbase Isn’t Going Anywhere’

Speaking with Bloomberg TV, the Coinbase CEO strongly refuted the idea that the crypto exchange could eventually consider shuttering operations in the U.S.

"We're not going anywhere. I mean, I started this company in the U.S., because not only is it a big market, there's rule of law here," Armstrong insisted.

He expressed optimism that Congress is taking steps to bring clarity to the markets. Citing a recent bill by the House Committee on Agriculture and the House Financial Services Committee, Armstrong argued that Congress was beginning to recognize that the U.S. is being left behind in crypto innovation.

On Tuesday, June 6, the SEC filed an enforcement action against Coinbase, alleging that it was an unregistered securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency. The commission also claimed that the crypto exchange’s staking service, self-custody wallet product, and Coinbase Prime offering violated U.S. securities laws.

On the Flipside

  • The case just started, and it would take years to get to the Supreme Court if it ever gets that far.
  • Despite arguing that Coinbase would not leave the U.S., the crypto exchange has focused expansion efforts abroad in the short term.
  • Armstrong has noted that he is open to moving Coinbase’s headquarters to the United Kingdom.
  • Coinbase and the SEC are also facing a separate legal battle to force the agency to reply to a July 2022 petition for rulemaking.

Why This Matters

The SEC case against Coinbase represents one of the most significant crypto enforcement actions. Armstrong’s statements suggest that the crypto exchange will defend its business model until the end.

Read this to learn more about the SEC’s complaint against Coinbase:

SEC Condemns Coinbase Operating Structure in Lawsuit Spree

In the separate legal battle between Coinbase and the SEC over crypto rulemaking, the court has ordered the SEC to respond to Coinbase’s petition. Find out why it matters:

SEC Given a Week to Respond to Coinbase Petition—Why It Matters

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
Okoya David

David Okoya is a crypto news reporter at DailyCoin based in Nigeria. He covers various topics related to the cryptocurrency industry, including exchanges, regulations, and price movements, and strives to bring fresh angles to breaking news. With experience as a freelance crypto news writer, David upholds the highest journalistic standards, telling complete stories and answering lingering questions whenever possible.