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In a final attempt to dismiss the regulator’s lawsuit, Coinbase contests the SEC’s jurisdiction over cryptocurrency.

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Coinbase has raised a contentious issue by contending that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has overstepped its regulatory boundaries. The SEC’s classification of cryptocurrencies listed on Coinbase as securities has ignited a legal battle between the exchange and the securities regulator. In a filing dated October 24 in a New York District Court, Coinbase didn’t mince words in rebuking the SEC. The exchange argued that the SEC’s definition of what constitutes a security is excessively broad. It vehemently contested the notion that the cryptocurrencies it lists fall under the purview of the regulator.

Coinbase articulated its perspective, stating, “The SEC’s authority is confined to transactions involving securities. Not every capital exchange with a hope for profit qualifies as such. Transactions on Coinbase are only considered securities transactions if they involve ‘investment contracts.’ The transactions in question do not meet this criterion.”

Accusing the SEC of an audacious expansion of its regulatory scope, Coinbase asserted that the jurisdiction over virtually all investment activities should be the prerogative of Congress, following the major questions doctrine. In an October 24 post, Coinbase’s chief legal officer, Paul Grewal, echoed these sentiments, emphasizing that the SEC’s definitions lack any discernible limits.

Coinbase’s recent legal action serves as a rebuttal to the SEC’s response on October 3, where the regulator urged the court to reject Coinbase’s motion to dismiss the case. The SEC reiterated its stance that several cryptocurrencies listed on Coinbase qualify as investment contracts under the Howey test.

The SEC initiated legal proceedings against Coinbase on June 6, alleging that the exchange had violated U.S. securities laws by listing multiple tokens as securities without registering with the regulator. Coinbase promptly countered with a motion for judgment on June 29, alleging an abuse of power and a violation of its due process rights by the SEC.

The case is now in the hands of Judge Katherine Polk Failla, who may convene oral arguments involving Coinbase and the SEC before issuing a judgment, considering a dismissal, or deciding to present the case before a jury for further deliberation.

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