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Coinbase Faces SEC Probe Over Crypto-Staking Programs

Coinbase probe

Coinbase Global, Inc. (COIN) said that it’s currently being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over its token listing processes, staking programs and yield-generating products, according to the company’s quarterly report.

“The Company has received investigative subpoenas and requests from the SEC for documents and information about certain customer programs, operations, and existing and intended future products, including the Company’s processes for listing assets, the classification of certain listed assets, its staking programs, and its stablecoin and yield-generating products.”

Coinbase has been subject to regulatory scrutiny despite being committed to be “the most trusted, most compliant, and most regulated crypto company globally,” the company said in its shareholder letter published on Tuesday. 

Coinbase also said that the SEC sent the company a voluntary request for information in May but that the exchange doesn’t yet know if this inquiry will become a formal investigation.

“We regularly get formal and informal questions from regulators about our views on the development of the cryptoeconomy, our products, and our operations.”

A spokesperson at the SEC said the agency does not comment on the existence or nonexistence of a possible investigation.

In July, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced charges against a former product manager at Coinbase for leaking information to help his brother and a friend front-run expected price jumps before the tokens were listed on the platform, and therefore violating its insider-trading rules.

In a related action, the SEC also alleged that the brother and a friend purchased at least 25 digital tokens, and at least 9 of which were securities. Seven out of nine of the digital tokens were listed on Coinbase. The SEC has not accused coinbase of any wrongdoings then.

Still, Coinbase said in the report that it believes the ultimate resolution of these regulatory investigations will not “have a material adverse effect” on its financial condition.


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