Here’s What Kraken Claims the SEC Lawsuit Is Really About

Kraken files motion to dismiss SEC lawsuit, claiming agency misinterprets securities laws and oversteps authority.

Kraken talking to his lawyers about the lawsuit.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin
  • Kraken has argued for sensible regulations while advocating limits on the SEC’s power.
  • Kraken has accused the SEC of a “politically motivated” attempt to grab more power.
  • Kraken has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing the SEC’s case has misinterpreted securities laws.

Just under a year ago, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against crypto exchange Kraken, sparking a legal battle that has raised questions about the agency’s regulatory overreach. 

Kraken CEO Urges Crypto Regulation, SEC Sues

On May 10, 2023, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell testified before Congress, advocating for clearer regulations in the digital asset industry. He also called for limiting the SEC’s authority in crypto regulation. One day later, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Kraken, accusing the exchange of operating as an unregistered securities exchange.


Kraken has vehemently denied these accusations and has filed a motion asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the SEC’s case is based on a misinterpretation of securities laws and represents an attempt to expand the agency’s authority beyond its legal bounds. The exchange recently published a detailed blog post outlining its defense and providing additional context.

Kraken’s Testimony and the SEC’s Reaction

This timeline details the legal battle between the crypto-exchange Kraken and the SEC, highlighting key events and arguments from both sides:

  • In May 2023, Kraken testified before Congress, advocating for clearer regulations for the crypto industry and limiting the SEC’s jurisdiction.
  • The next day, the SEC informed Kraken of their intention to sue.

Kraken’s Arguments Against the Lawsuit

Kraken challenges the SEC’s claim that crypto assets on its platform are securities, arguing that the definition and application are flawed and could set a dangerous precedent.

  • The SEC’s case hinges on the argument that crypto tokens on Kraken’s platform are “investment contracts,” but Kraken argues there are no actual contracts between buyers and issuers, rendering the argument invalid.
  • Kraken claims the SEC is misinterpreting the Supreme Court’s definition of an “investment contract” by disregarding the requirement of an actual contract and creating a new, ambiguous standard.
  • Kraken warns that the SEC’s broad interpretation of “investment contract” could set a dangerous precedent, potentially turning everyday assets like sports memorabilia or even diamonds into securities.
  • Kraken argues the SEC is attempting to expand its jurisdiction beyond what Congress intended, calling it a “politically motivated power grab.”
  • Kraken claims the SEC’s actions violate the Major Questions Doctrine, which prevents agencies from assuming broad regulatory power without clear Congressional delegation.

Kraken’s Stance

Defending its position and community, Kraken seeks to clarify regulations and protect its mission in the evolving crypto landscape.

  • Kraken supports clear regulations for the crypto industry but believes the SEC’s approach is flawed and harmful.
  • They remain committed to advocating for their community and fulfilling their mission of accelerating cryptocurrency adoption.
  • They urge the court to dismiss the lawsuit and return legislative power to Congress.

The legal battle remains ongoing. However, recent developments, including Kraken’s motion to dismiss the case, have shed new light on the situation, prompting a closer look at the timeline and key arguments.

On the Flipside

  • This is a review of Kraken’s points about the lawsuit, and if taken at face value, it may come across as a biased perspective.
  • Remembering this is just one perspective on the complex legal battle between Kraken and the SEC is important.

Why This Matters

This legal battle between Kraken and the SEC could have major consequences for the entire crypto industry. It hinges on the definition of “investment contracts” and the SEC’s regulatory reach, potentially impacting how future crypto platforms are classified and regulated. 

Worried about privacy and cryptocurrency’s future? This article delves into Kraken’s recent controversy over demanding self-custody wallet info from UK users:
Kraken Demands Crypto Self-Custody Wallet Info from UK Users

Curious about the Ripple vs. SEC lawsuit’s next steps? This article covers the recent end of the discovery phase, upcoming deadlines, and potential impacts on the crypto market:
Ripple vs. SEC Case Is in the Endgame: These Are the Key Dates

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.

Kyle Calvert

Kyle Calvert is a cryptocurrency news reporter for DailyCoin, specializing in Ripple, stablecoins, as well as price and market analysis news. Before his current role, Kyle worked as a student researcher in the cryptocurrency industry, gaining an understanding of how digital currencies work, their potential uses, and their impact on the economy and society. He completed his Masters and Honors degrees in Blockchain Technology within Esports and Business and Event management within Esports at Staffordshire University.