Coinbase Faces Regulatory Scrutiny as SEC Objects to Celsius Restructuring

Vignesh Karunanidhi
Coinbase Granted Approval for Retail Perpetual Futures Trading
Source: InsideBitcoins

The SEC recently filed an objection to crypto lender Celsius Network’s reorganization plan, citing issues with Celsius’ proposed deal with Coinbase. The deal could involve services at the center of the SEC’s existing lawsuit against Coinbase, the regulator argued.

In the September 22nd bankruptcy court filing, the SEC took issue with aspects of the latest Celsius plan revision that remain under seal. The plan apparently includes a distribution services agreement with Coinbase.

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Coinbase faces SEC lawsuit over alleged unregistered securities offering

The SEC claims the arrangement may have Coinbase providing services deemed unregistered securities in the regulator’s June lawsuit against the exchange. The SEC lawsuit alleges Coinbase unlawfully offered crypto staking rewards and lending products deemed securities.

Coinbase CLO Paul Grewal maintains the exchange is “proud to engage with Celsius” to help return user funds, calling out the SEC’s objection on Twitter. However, the bankruptcy judge must weigh regulatory arguments against Celsius’ repayment aims.

The SEC’s opposition comes after Celsius struck a deal with mining firm Core Scientific to settle litigation related to unpaid obligations. Celsius agreed to acquire a data center from Core Scientific for $14 million plus debt forgiveness.

Celsius has undergone four restructuring plan revisions since filing for bankruptcy in July 2022, amidst massive crypto market turmoil. While the crypto lender hopes to accelerate repayments, legal challenges persist.

The SEC holds that crypto accountability takes precedence, even for bankrupt firms. However, blocking viable repayment options could detrimentally impact Celsius users awaiting funds. Ultimately, the court will determine if the Coinbase arrangement aligns with regulations and creditor interests.