SAN FRANCISCO — Last week, Coinbase was given a Wells notice from the SEC. The Wells notice claimed that Coinbase is being too responsible an actor in the crypto space.
“We don’t like it when we can’t figure out what a company is doing wrong,” explained Gary Gensler, Chairman of the SEC. “Are they committing securities fraud? I don’t have any evidence of that, but I would not be doing my job as a regulator if I didn’t try to figure out what I can stop them from doing.”
Coinbase, since its founding in May of 2012, has very boringly provided basic crypto services and protected their user’s deposits. Coinbase is known for its high level of compliance with US laws (to that extent that such laws governing crypto can be known). In contrast, former crypto exchange, FTX, was given nary a warning by the SEC, due to playing fast and loose and actively bribing politicians.
“FTX was not a responsible company in any sense of the word,” said Gensler. “We knew exactly where we stood with them. Where are Coinbase’s funny Superbowl commercials? Where are their celebrity endorsements? Why can’t they be more like FTX? I mean, except for the ponzi thing, of course.”
When asked if he thought the SEC failed to properly protect the public from FTX, Gensler smiled and shrugged, and then excused himself so he could get back to work on his TikTok dance about how tokens are securities.