The US-based crypto exchange Coinbase has earlier asked the SEC to create rules that work for digital asset values.
Bloomberg reported Monday that the US Securities and Exchange Commission has reportedly launched an investigation to find out whether cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase allowed Americans to trade digital assets that should have been registered as securities.
SEC investigates Coinbase
The development comes amid the increase in tokens listed on the Coinbase trading platform.
However, Coinbase’s spokesperson disclosed that, while the cryptocurrency industry awaits clearer regulation or definition of which digital assets classify as securities, the company does not list securities on its platform.
“We believe there is a large untapped market and the United States risks being left behind if the SEC does not engage in a transparent and public rulemaking process for digital asset securities,” the spokesperson added.
Also, an SEC official declined to say at the time whether it would take action against Coinbase for listing the tokens considered securities in the complaint. Meanwhile, the investigation by the SEC’s enforcement unit predates the agency’s probe into an alleged insider trading scheme that was revealed last week.
Coinbase insider trading
U.S. prosecutors in Manhattan charged a former Coinbase product manager and two others last week with wire fraud in the first cryptocurrency-related insider trading case, with Ishan Wahi, the product manager at the cryptocurrency exchange, and his brother Nikhil Wahi arrested in Seattle.
In related civil charges, the SEC alleged that Nikhil Wahi and another defendant, Sameer Ramani, had sold at least 25 crypto assets for profit, nine of which the agency identified as securities.
Over the past months, Coinbase has been suffering a severe strain in operations amid the global macroeconomic conditions and the bearish state of the crypto market. Even the Coinbase stock value has been down over 78% since the beginning of the year.