Coinbase cleared in crypto transaction lawsuit

Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, has won a major victory in an ongoing lawsuit. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled in favor of Coinbase, stating that the secondary sales of cryptocurrencies on its platform do not violate the Securities Exchange Act. This decision applies to a nationwide group of individuals who traded tokens on Coinbase from October 8, 2019, to March 11, 2022.

The main issue in the dispute was whether the cryptocurrencies traded on Coinbase met the criteria for securities. The plaintiffs made federal claims under various sections of securities acts and presented state law claims in California, Florida, and New Jersey. They argued that Coinbase’s actions constituted the offering and selling of unregistered securities and accused the company of violating multiple securities laws.

Coinbase argued that secondary sales of crypto-assets did not meet the criteria for securities transactions and questioned the relevance of securities regulations. The Court of Appeals examined the case and overturned some of the lower court’s decisions while upholding others. It found that Coinbase could potentially be liable for vending unregistered securities under Section 12(a)(1) of the Securities Act, but rejected the plaintiffs’ Securities Exchange Act claims due to insufficient proof of transaction-specific contracts needed for rescission under Section 29.

The court’s decision heavily relied on the interpretation of Coinbase’s user agreements, which had evolved over time. The varying language in different versions of the agreements complicated the issues of title and privity, which were critical to the case. It emphasized the need for clarity on the applicable user agreement version to reach a definitive resolution.

The plaintiffs see this ruling as progress in holding cryptocurrency platforms accountable under securities laws and advocating for investor protection in the evolving crypto space. Coinbase believes that the decision reinforces its position that secondary crypto sales are not securities transactions. The company also emphasized the importance of regulatory clarity to foster innovation within the industry.

The verdict of the Court of Appeals has significant implications for the regulation of cryptocurrencies and digital assets. Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer, Paul Grewal, expressed gratitude on a social platform, stating that the Second Circuit confirmed that there is no private liability for secondary trading of digital assets on exchanges like Coinbase under federal securities law, highlighting the importance of contracts.

4 thoughts on “Coinbase cleared in crypto transaction lawsuit

  1. It’s disheartening that Coinbase believes this decision validates their position to treat crypto sales as non-securities. We need more protection for investors!

  2. This decision undermines the importance of investor protection in the crypto industry. It’s a step backward. 👎

  3. I’m thrilled to see Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer expressing gratitude for the court’s decision. It’s refreshing to see a company acknowledge the importance of contracts in maintaining a fair and secure marketplace. Keep prioritizing legal clarity, Coinbase!

  4. The court’s ruling ignores the potential risks associated with unregistered securities on platforms like Coinbase. It’s a dangerous precedent. 😨

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