‘SEC Actions Are Unlawful’: Why Chamber of Commerce Backing for Coinbase Matters

Brian Armstrong looking to the left on a background of U.S. Chamber of Commerce building.
  • In April, Coinbase took a bold step by suing the SEC.
  • The crypto exchange has now received support from one of the most influential business organizations in the world.
  • The latest support could have significant effects beyond the case.

Market participants and lawmakers have described the state of crypto regulations in the United States as hostile and confusing.

In April, Coinbase, widely considered the largest crypto exchange in the U.S., took the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to court in hopes of clearing this ambiguity that continues to push businesses abroad

Coinbase has now received support from one of the most influential business organizations in the world, which has potentially significant implications.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Files Amicus Brief in Support of Coinbase

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has opted to support Coinbase in its lawsuit against the SEC per an amicus brief filed on Tuesday, May 9.

An amicus brief is a legal document filed by entities having a strong interest in a case they are not a party to. 

“The Chamber’s members have a strong interest in regulatory clarity, and many of its members are companies subject to U.S. securities laws that may be adversely affected by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s current approach to digital assets,” the Chamber’s brief stated.

The organization, which represents about 3 million businesses, argued that the SEC’s delayed response to Coinbase’s July 2022 petition to clarify what digital assets constitute securities stifled economic growth and innovation and hurt the regulatory landscape for crypto. 

The business advocacy group further bashed the SEC’s campaign of regulation by enforcement absent of clear guidelines as “unlawful.”

"The SEC's actions are not just harmful policy; they are unlawful; and the consequences of the SEC's continued delay are severe for that reason too," the Chamber argued.

On May 4, The court had notably given the SEC ten days to respond to Coinbase’s petition. While experts had initially argued that the markets regulator still had wriggle room to delay its response, the latest amicus brief decrying the SEC’s delay may throw a wrench in any such plans with broader effects.

The Impact of the Brief

In a Twitter thread on Thursday, May 11, Securities Lawyer James “MetaLawMan” Murphy asserted that the Chamber’s arguments could significantly sway the courts in the legal battle.

“The Court will give these arguments advanced by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce serious attention,” Murphy tweeted.

Former SEC Regional Director Marc Fagel posited that the impact could be greater in political circles than in the courts, adding that it could also force SEC Chair Gary Gensler to consider rulemaking.

"The amicus brief itself shouldn't impact any pending (or expected) enforcement actions. But it's one more political prompt for Congress to intervene; and I suppose could politically prompt GG to more seriously consider rulemaking (but I think that will take a court loss)," the former SEC enforcement officer tweeted.

ConsenSys Lawyer Bill Hughes told DailyCoin that while amicus briefs often have little sway in court decisions, it can be helpful to have briefs from notable organizations like the Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s good that they have spoken up here in favor of a government agency being responsive to the public and business community,” Hughes noted.

“I hope this signals more non-crypto-native entities standing alongside the crypto ecosystem as it has to resort to federal courts to check an otherwise gleefully hostile administration.”

On the Flipside

  • The SEC served Coinbase with a Wells notice in March regarding several aspects of its business.

Why You Should Care

The Chamber of Commerce is regarded as one of the most influential business organizations in the world.

Read this to learn whether Coinbase’s case affects the SEC’s planned enforcement action:

Will Coinbase’s Lawsuit Against the SEC Affect Its Ongoing Enforcement?

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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.