Coinbase under SEC scrutiny for its staking programs

Lavina Daryanani
Source: City A.M.

Just a day back, Coinbase released its quarterly earnings and published its letter to shareholders. Leaving aside the revenue bits and the overall performance, the exchange’s staking ambitions were widely spoken about on social platforms by community members. As reported in an article on Wednesday, one of the company’s long term goals is to become the #1 staking provider.

Time for Coinbase to apply brakes?

The company, in its quarterly form 10-Q filing, revealed that it is under the SEC’s scrutiny for its staking programs.

Staking, as such, fetches HODLers passive income for possessing cryptos. Staking platforms, on their part, deploy the staked crypto to help verify transactions and boost blockchain security.

Per the filing, Coinbase

“has received investigative subpoenas and requests from the SEC for documents and information about certain customer programs, operations and existing and intended future products.”

The company clarified that the requests were associated to its staking programs, asset-listing process, classification of assets and stablecoin products.

In the letter to the shareholders, Coinbase had shed light on the SEC’s on-going inquiry on its listings and listing process. It, however, doesn’t know yet if the same will turn into a formal investigation. Alongside, it had also briefly mentioned how the regulatory body had charged three individuals with securities frauds related to crypto asset
trading. Notably, seven assets were listed on Coinbase’s platform.

Here it is worth recalling that the SEC had threatened to sue Coinbase last year if it went ahead with its synonymous ‘lend’ program. Via the same, users were primed to earn interest by lending their tokens. Coinbase ended up cancelling that project.

Despite being under the investigative lens, the company stressed in its letter to shareholders that it is “committed” to discussions with the SEC about assets and regulations. Elaborating on the same, the letter noted,

“As with all regulators around the world, we are committed to productive discussion with the SEC about crypto assets and securities regulation, and to working alongside all policymakers to build a workable regulatory framework for the cryptoeconomy that addresses any areas of risk, while enabling the development and adoption of digital innovation for the benefit of the broader society.”