Crypto Goes on the Offense: Coinbase Sues SEC and FDIC

The cryptocurrency landscape is witnessing significant policy and regulatory developments that are shaping its trajectory. Against a backdrop of economic volatility and political uncertainty, the crypto industry is now taking a proactive stance.

Industry leaders are determined to influence regulatory frameworks and ensure cryptocurrency’s continued growth and innovation.

In fact, we’re witnessing a pivotal moment as cryptocurrencies move from the fringes to the forefront of economic and political discussions, catalyzed by a series of high-profile events and strategic industry maneuvers.

Crypto & Politics

This shift to the offensive is driven partly by the political climate, highlighted by former President Donald Trump’s pro-crypto rally at Mar-a-Lago. The rally has sparked significant debate and action within both political parties.

Trump’s clear endorsement of cryptocurrencies has catalyzed a wave of support, pushing the issue to the forefront of the political agenda.

In response, President Joe Biden has adjusted his stance, toning down anti-crypto rhetoric and likely influencing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to approve Ethereum (ETH) exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Both parties now accept crypto donations. Yet the Republicans seem more aligned with the crypto cause, while the Democrats face criticism for their inconsistent positions.

The Regulatory Tides Are Shifting

This year, we’ve seen significant regulatory milestones for the cryptocurrency industry, starting with the long-awaited approval and trading of the first Bitcoin (BTC) spot ETFs at the beginning of the year.

The SEC’s approval of these ETFs signaled a new era of acceptance and regulatory clarity for digital assets. It has also provided institutional investors with a more straightforward and secure avenue to invest in cryptocurrencies.

The approval of Bitcoin spot ETFs was a watershed moment and validated the industry’s years-long efforts to establish a legitimate and regulated investment product.

Building on this momentum, the SEC approved Ethereum (ETH) ETFs in May, with trading set to go live next week. This move further underscores the SEC’s evolving stance toward cryptocurrencies as it recognizes the growing demand and maturity of the digital asset market.

The approval of Ethereum ETFs has paved the way for other cryptocurrencies to seek similar validation, evidenced by VanEck’s recent application for a Solana (SOL) ETF.

This progressive regulatory approach reflects a broader shift toward accommodating and integrating digital assets into the mainstream financial system. In turn, this fosters an environment where innovation can thrive while ensuring investor protection and market stability.

SOL Sees a Boost in Price

Solana has seen an uptick in price this week after bottoming out below $130 on Monday. the crypto has since climbed by more than 20% to the current price of $147.

However, SOL is still down nearly 30% from its highs set back in March.

Solana has emerged as a blue-chip cryptocurrency during this cycle and is a logical pick for one of the next cryptocurrency ETFs. VanEck’s application may not win approval, but its submission is certainly a vote of confidence in SOL.

Coinbase Emerges As a Crypto Industry Figurehead

Coinbase (NSDQ: COIN), the U.S.’s largest crypto exchange, is leading a new legal offensive against the SEC and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to procure documents relating to the agencies’ approaches to crypto regulation.

The lawsuits, filed in a Washington, D.C., district court, aim to shed light on what Coinbase describes as a “deliberate and concerted effort by the SEC, FDIC, and other financial regulators” to pressure banks to deny crypto firms access to the federal banking system.

According to a Coinbase spokeswoman, these regulators have used every tool at their disposal to try to cripple the digital asset industry. Coinbase is now demanding transparency from the federal government.

The move by Coinbase follows its attempts to retrieve information through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regarding three SEC investigations into crypto firms and entrepreneurs between 2018 and 2024.

Coinbase is also seeking details of “pause letters” sent by the FDIC to banks. Those letters allegedly asked them to pause any crypto-related activity until further guidance could be provided.

Despite being legally entitled to the requested information, Coinbase says it was denied access by both the SEC and the FDIC. The agencies cited potential jeopardy to similar investigations and enforcement actions as their reason for refusal.

This legal battle highlights the crypto industry’s broader concerns about what it perceives as a coordinated effort by financial regulators to restrict its access to essential banking services, often referred to within the industry as “Operation Chokepoint 2.0.”

These legal actions and the proactive stance taken by the crypto industry underscore a significant shift in the regulatory landscape. As the industry pushes back against restrictive regulations, it seeks to educate policymakers about the nuances of blockchain technology and advocate for rules that support growth and protect investors.

This offensive strategy underscores the crypto sector’s determination to secure its place in the evolving financial landscape of 2024, striving for a regulatory environment that balances innovation with market stability.

Final Thoughts

The crypto industry’s offensive against regulators is reshaping its future in 2024. Coinbase’s legal battles highlight a push for transparency.

This fight reflects a broader effort for fair treatment from regulators. Significant developments include the approval of Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs, and the potential for a Solana ETF marks another milestone.

The regulatory landscape is rapidly evolving to accommodate the growing crypto market. Industry leaders are shaping a framework that fosters innovation and ensures investor protection. As cryptocurrencies integrate into mainstream finance, today’s actions set the future precedent.

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This article previously appeared on Investing Daily.