Coinbase Share Prices Plummet as SEC Probes Its Token Listings

Coinbase, the US-based cryptocurrency trading platform, saw its share prices plummet by as much as 21 percent after news that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had decided to investigate the exchange to decide whether the platform allowed its clients to trade digital assets that should have been registered as securities. Scrutiny of Coinbase by the SEC has increased since the company expanded the number of tokens available to trade. The development take place after Coinbase in a letter to the SEC last week called on the agency to provide clearer rules on which assets it considers securities.

Coinbase had its IPO in 2021, and since then, the price of Coinbase’s shares has gone down more than 84 percent. The current price of Coinbase’s share is $52.93 (roughly Rs. 4,235), down from $67.07 (roughly Rs. 5,366) the previous day. The fall in Bitcoin and Ether’s price over the past few months has already negatively impacted Coinbase, and now a prolonged investigation could totally ruin its share price.

A spokesperson for the platform recently said that Coinbase does not list securities on its platform while the chief legal officer of Coinbase, Paul Grewal said, “We are confident that our rigorous diligence process — a process the SEC has already reviewed — keeps securities off our platform, and we look forward to engaging with the SEC on the matter.”

According to a Bloomberg report on Monday, three people familiar with the matter said that the SEC’s enforcement unit is looking into whether Coinbase wrongfully listed tokens that should have been registered as securities.

The sources also said that the SEC’s inquiries began before it named nine crypto tokens as securities in an insider trading lawsuit against a former Coinbase employee and two of his associates.

According to Bloomberg’s sources, who asked not to be named, the SEC began its inquiry after Coinbase began to rapidly expand the number of tokens listed on its platform.

The debate over which cryptocurrencies should be regulated as securities has been ongoing for years. As part of the insider trading case revealed last week, the SEC took a bold step by calling nine cryptocurrencies securities, seven of which are currently listed by Coinbase.

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