$100 Billion Crypto Price Crash Sparks Serious Coinbase Warning As Bitcoin And Ethereum Plummet
Bitcoin (BTC -1.2%) , Ethereum and other major cryptocurrencies have plummeted in the wake of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) bombshell lawsuit against Binance (coming in the same week as a potentially game-changing new crypto bill in Congress)
The bitcoin price has dropped to its lowest level since March, wiping around $100 billion from the combined Ethereum price and other cryptocurrencies as fears grow among crypto traders that this is the start of a broader SEC crackdown.
Now, some have warned the SEC’s complaint against Binance—alleging the world’s largest exchange blatantly flouted U.S. securities laws—could be setting a precedent for a similar lawsuit against Coinbase(COIN -12.1%), the largest U.S. crypto exchange that listed shares in 2021.
Update: The SEC has now sued Coinbase, alleging the bitcoin and crypto exchange has for years broken its rules by allowing users to trade cryptocurrencies on its platform that are unregistered securities.
“We observe that several of the details of the lawsuit that the commission filed against Binance echo those it previously filed against crypto exchanges Bittrex and Kraken, and we believe these cases in aggregate represent a preview of the action that is likely to be filed against Coinbase,” Berenberg analyst Mark Palmer wrote in a note seen by Coindesk.
In its lawsuit against Binance, the SEC alleged the company and its chief executive Changpeng “CZ” Zhao offered unregistered securities to the general public via Binance.US in the form of the BNB(BNB +0.9%) cryptocurrency, the Binance-linked BUSD(BUSD -0.3%) stablecoin, and that Binance’s staking service violated securities law.
Such legal action could be devastating for Coinbase, which has seen its stock price plummet by over 80% since its spring 2021 market debut. “We estimate that at least 37% of Coinbase’s net revenue would be at risk if the SEC were to target the company’s crypto token trading and staking operations,” Palmer added.
“The SEC setting precedent with Binance before going after Coinbase’s unregistered securities exchange makes a lot of sense,” Cory Klippsten, the chief executive of bitcoin-buying app Swan Bitcoin, said via Telegram. “Binance doesn’t have the massive U.S. investor base and DC lobbying arm that Coinbase has. There’s no constituency to argue for Binance here.
An SEC case against Coinbase has been expected since March when the exchange revealed it had received a so-called Wells notice signaling pending legal action from the agency.
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