US SEC’s Regulatory Uncertainty Sparks Conflict with Web


  • Regulatory conflict: The ongoing lack of clear US crypto regulations fuels tension between the SEC and web3 firms like Coinbase and Ripple.
  • Global comparison: UAE and EU attract web3 companies with transparent regulations, highlighting the US’s lag in establishing clear rules.
  • Legal battles: Courts rule in favor of web3 firms, with significant cases involving Binance and Ripple challenging SEC’s stance.

The ongoing lack of clear cryptocurrency regulations in the United States has sparked a prolonged conflict between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and leading web3 companies, such as Coinbase Global Inc. (NASDAQ: COIN) and Ripple Labs. Despite digital assets being a significant topic in the upcoming US general election, the current administration has yet to establish definitive crypto regulations. Consequently, web3 leaders criticize US officials for lagging behind other significant jurisdictions with clear digital asset frameworks.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), for example, has recently attracted numerous web3 companies due to its transparent and friendly digital assets regulations. Similarly, the European Union is rapidly implementing the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulatory framework to promote the adoption of sustainable web3 and digital assets. In contrast, the US SEC has repeatedly accused Coinbase Global of operating as an unregistered securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency. Despite several court rulings against the SEC’s claims that digital assets violated securities laws, the agency persists in its legal battles against web3 firms.

In a notable instance, a US court recently determined that Binance’s native coin did not breach securities laws under the Howey test. In last year’s lawsuit against Ripple, a judge ruled that XRP sales on exchanges do not constitute investment contracts. Coinbase’s legal team, led by Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal, has accused SEC Chair Gary Gensler of regulatory bias against the digital assets industry. Recently, Coinbase requested Judge Katherine Polk Failla to compel the SEC and Gensler to produce relevant documents, including personal emails sent by Gensler before his tenure as chair and during his time as a professor at MIT.

The mass adoption of digital assets by institutional investors and retail traders has intensified lawmakers’ focus on the sector. The recent approval of spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs highlights the growing demand. However, Web3 leaders are inclined to support lawmakers who favor the digital assets industry, underscoring the need for clear and supportive regulatory frameworks to foster innovation and growth in the sector.