Tag Archives: $DOGE

Coinbase CEO Laments SEC's 'Sketchy' Behavior As Regulator Threatens To Sue Over Cryp

Coinbase Global Inc (NASDAQ:COIN) CEO Brian Armstrong came down heavily on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission late night Tuesday on social media.

What Happened: In a series of tweets, Armstrong told the story of what transpired between the cryptocurrency trading platform and the SEC, describing the market regulator’s behavior as “sketchy.”

Referring to Coinbase’s yet-to-be-launched “Lend” product, Armstrong, said the company was “planning to go live” in a few weeks and gave the SEC a “friendly heads up and briefing.”

“They responded by telling us this lend feature is a security,” Armstrong wrote. “How can lending be a security? So we ask the SEC to help us understand and share their view.”

See Also: How To Buy Coinbase (COIN) Shares

“They refuse to tell us why they think it's a security, and instead subpoena a bunch of records from us (we comply), demand testimony from our employees (we comply), and then tell us they will be suing us if we proceed to launch, with zero explanation as to why.”

Armstrong said that Coinbase was “committed to following the law” but urged the SEC to publish guidance and “actually enforce it evenly across the industry equally.”

However, as per Armstrong, the SEC is refusing to “offer any opinion in writing.” Instead, they are “engaging in intimidation tactics behind closed doors. Whatever their theory is here, it feels like a reach/land grab vs other regulators.”

The Coinbase CEO said that the SEC refused to meet with him when he traveled to Washington D.C. in May this year. He said the regulator told him, “we’re not meeting with any crypto companies.”

Why It Matters: The Lend product offers a 4% APY on USD Coin (CRYPTO: USDC) coin to begin with — the platform is open pre-enrollment.

In a blog post, Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal claimed Lend did not qualify as a security as it is neither a contract nor a note.

“We shared this view and the details of Lend with the SEC. After our initial meeting, we answered all of the SEC’s questions in writing and then again in person. But we didn’t get much of a response,” wrote Grewal.

As per Grewal, SEC is assessing the product through Supreme Court cases called Howey and Reves. The regulator has not shared the assessment but only told Coinbase that it used that particular methodology.  The two cases date back to 1946 and 1990, respectively.

Grewal said as a result of the developments, Coinbase will not launch Lend until at least October.

Last month, the SEC filed its first-ever lawsuit against an organization over its activities related to decentralized finance or DeFi, alleging the sale of unregistered securities.

The SEC Chair Gary Gensler suggested last month that some DeFi projects have features that make them appear as the type of entities that the SEC is tasked with overseeing, reported the Wall Street Journal.

In December, the SEC sued Ripple, the company associated with the XRP (CRYPTO: XRP) token, alleging it conducted a $1.3 billion unregistered securities offering. 

Price Action: On Tuesday, Coinbase shares closed 4.18% lower at $266.81 in the regular session and rose almost 0.2% in the after-hours trading. The cryptocurrency exchange desk enables trading of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC), Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) and Dogecoin (CRYPTO: DOGE).

Read Next: Dogecoin Gets Free Advertising As Coinbase Sponsors Mr. Beast Video: Why This Bull Is Charged Up

Photo: Courtesy of Marco Verch Professional on Flickr

EXCLUSIVE: Bodybuilder Nick Balazs Does Heavy Lifting For Dogecoin

Elon Musk might be the biggest advocate of Dogecoin (CRYPTO: DOGE) in terms of corporate prestige and net worth, but an argument can be made that Nick Balazs is the biggest Dogecoin advocate in terms of muscularity.

Balazs is a competitive bodybuilder who has been active in the National Physique Committee (NPC) competitions for the last four years, with his best ranking to date in third place during the 2018 Southern States.

While bodybuilding fans recognize Balazs from his competitions, a larger portion of his considerable social media following on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), YouTube and Instagram appreciate his muscle-flexing on behalf of Dogecoin.

A Doge Life: In an upcoming interview that will be broadcast on the new podcast “Benzinga Show Business,” Balazs recalled his first ventures into the crypto realm.

“I bought Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) in 2012, I bought Litecoin (CRYPTO: LTC) in 2013, and then I bought my first Dogecoin,” he said. “My first purchase was 4 million in February of 2014.”

Balazs admitted that while many people keep bringing up that Dogecoin was first created as a joke, he realized there was more to the Dogecoin concept than digital mirth.

“I realized very early on that there was a huge potential for this to grow into the future,” he said, adding he set out an investing strategy where he treated his Dogecoin as if it were $1.

Balazs calculated that he spent about $10,000 for his initial Dogecoin purchase at a time when it was trading at 0.0007, which now has a value of “quite a few million.” 

He acknowledged that some people seek to take belated advantage of his crypto prescience.

“No, I am not lending – the Bank of Balazs is not open,” he laughed.

Related Link: United Wholesale Mortgage Plans To Begin Cryptocurrency Transactions In Q3

Spreading the Word: Balazs has been fascinated with the new mainstream media interest in Dogecoin via Musk’s exuberant and sometimes enigmatic tweets, although he hoped the cryptocurrency’s success would not be too reliant on Musk’s running commentary.

“I think Dogecoin is its own thing,” he observed. “I've said for a very long time that there's no one person that controls Dogecoin. That's part of the reasons I picked it as a crypto — there's no CEO, there's no one guy that's driving it.”

For his part, Balazs has become something of a walking billboard for Dogecoin thanks to a Shiba Inu tattoo created by an ink-on-flesh artist who turned out to be a long-lost college friend.

“I told him the whole story and he opened the shop for me on a Sunday when they were closed,” he said. “He did a great job — he’s never done anything like that before, but he knocked it out of the park.”

And while Balazs’s tattoo makes an impression at his gym, he's best known for the championing of Dogecoin via his social media pages and a recurring guest spot on Steven Steele’s YouTube podcasts.

The Road Ahead: Looking into the near future, Balazs has no immediate plans to return to the bodybuilding stage. The 2020 pandemic canceled the competition calendar and Balazs stated he was re-evaluating his place in the sport, noting how he “valued my health a lot more than I value being some giant guy.”

As for his cryptocurrency activities, he is paying closer attention to Cardano (CRYPTO: ADA), which is part of his portfolio. He is also taking heed of how the federal government will react to cryptocurrency’s evolution, although he does not share the repeated warnings from hedge fund executive Ray Dalio that the federal government might seek to ban cryptocurrency to ensure the vitality of the dollar.

“I don't want to see crypto be crushed by regulators,” he said. “But at the same time, I don't think there's anything wrong with a bit of regulation, especially when it comes to the token world. I think there probably needs to be some more regulation there. But I don't ever see the U.S. just banning crypto, unless something goes horribly wrong, I don't think that'll happen.”


Photos: Courtesy of Nick Balazs.