SEC Says It May Make a Recommendation on Crypto Exchange Coinbase Petition Within 4 Months

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) hasn’t made a decision on whether it will respond to Coinbase’s (COIN) petition for rulemaking and its enforcement action against the crypto trading platform isn’t inconsistent with any decision on rulemaking, the regulator said Tuesday.

The SEC responded to a court order on how it was currently looking at the rulemaking petition in light of the agency’s enforcement action against Coinbase, which the regulator sued last Tuesday on allegations it was operating an unregistered securities exchange, broker and clearing agency.

Though Coinbase has argued that the SEC has decided to reject the petition, the SEC said Tuesday that it hadn’t made a decision one way or another, though agency staff think they will make a recommendation within 120 days.

Until and unless the SEC decides to propose new rules, Coinbase still has to abide by current law, the regulator added in discussing its current enforcement action.

“Regardless of whether the Commission determines to undertake the rulemaking sought by Coinbase, a decision the Commission has yet to make, Coinbase – like everyone else – is bound by existing law,” the SEC filing said. “And Coinbase is free to vigorously assert its position that it has not violated that law in the current enforcement action.”

In a tweet, Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal said the SEC “ignore[d] the clear statements of the Chair that confirm they have no intent to issue new rules, and instead conflate the evidence of a decision those statements provide with an argument that the statements are themselves a decision,” though the SEC argued that “statements by the Chair do not – and could not – constitute Commission action denying Coinbase’s rulemaking petition.”

Any SEC decision would need a majority of a quorum vote as well, the regulator argued.

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