Crypto Exchange Coinbase Sues SEC and FDIC. Here’s Why

crypto lawsuit

Leading U.S. Crypto exchange Coinbase has taken a significant step by suing the U.S. SEC over its refusal to release regulatory information.

As reported on Thursday, crypto exchange Coinbase and History Associates Incorporated have filed two lawsuits against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for failing to comply with Freedom Of Information Art (FOIA) requests.

Coinbase Sues SEC and FDIC

Following a lawsuit filed on Thursday in a Washington, D.C., district court, Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer (CLO) has announced that the company has taken legal action against the SEC and FDIC. The exchange sued the SEC and FDIC due to refusal to release necessary information according to FOIA requests, which Coinbase views as unjust.

The popular crypto exchange seeks details about three SEC investigations into a few crypto firms in the past six years, including the just concluded case with the Ethereum network. Coinbase hopes to gain more insight into the SEC’s view of cryptocurrencies from the requested documents.

Moreover, Sometime in the last year, Coinbase collaborated with a private research firm,  History Associates Incorporated, to submit a FOIA request on its behalf. According to the complaint, Coinbase asked for copies of “Pause Letters” sent to many financial institutions, prompting them to withdraw from processing crypto-related transactions within the U.S.

As the FDIC’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) revealed, the letters the agency withheld from the public could unknowingly disrupt innovation and growth in the crypto space. 

According to FOIA laws, public companies can request necessary information and records from government agencies. However, the SEC has failed to release the requested information to Coinbase.

A Coinbase spokeswoman said, “For years, financial regulators – including the SEC, the FDIC, and the Federal Reserve Board – have used every tool at their disposal to try to cripple the digital-asset industry.” She added, “We demand transparency from our federal government.”

In concluding his announcement, Grewal said, “This is no way to regulate. And this is no way to operate a transparent government. Today, we demand better from our financial regulators.” Although the court has yet to consider Coinbase filings, Grewal remains confident of getting positive reports, as he promised to keep the public updated with any developments on the case.