• Coinbase and other crypto firms have joined Ripple in filing an amicus brief in the SEC v Wahi case to ask for new rules and regulations related to securities.
• The lawsuit was filed against Ishan Wahi, a former manager in the assets and investing products group at Coinbase Global, as well as his brother Nikhil Whai and their friend Sameer Ramani for allegedly engaging in insider trading.
• Coinbase strongly opposes the securities fraud charges arguing that the assets listed on their platform are not securities.
Coinbase Joins Ripple in Filing Amicus Brief
Coinbase has filed an amicus brief in the SEC v Wahi case, joining Ripple, Paxos, and other crypto firms to support the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Ishan Wahi, a former manager in the assets and investing products group at Coinbase Global. The companies argue that SEC should focus on setting proper rules and guidance related to securities instead of some misguided securities lawsuit.
Charges Against Ishan Wahi
The SEC and US Justice Department allege that Ishan had first-hand knowledge of which assets Coinbase planned to support before making an official announcement on Twitter. It is reported that he tipped non-public information concerning when these listings would be announced or what they would contain to his brother Nikhil Whai, as well as their friend Sameer Ramani on multiple occasions between June 2021 and April 2022.
Coinbase does not list any securities but it has petitioned the Agency for rules on digital asset securities as existing ones do not apply to digital assets. Chief legal officer Paul Grewal asserts that Insider trading and wire fraud charges are valid but objects to security fraud charges citing that those listed on their platform are not securities.
Amicus Briefs from Blockchain Associations
In February this year, both Blockchain Association and Chamber of Digital Commerce also filed separate amicus briefs asking court dismissment of this lawsuit due to old existing security rules not applying to new technology such as digital assets.
Coinbase’s suit is part of a growing trend among cryptocurrency companies pushing back against outdated regulations surrounding digital asset investments while simultaneously advocating for updated regulations better suited for crypto industry developments.