Coinbase shares fall after SEC threatens to sue company over crypto yield product

SAO PAULO – Shares of cryptocurrency broker (exchange) Coinbase fall more than 3% on the New York Stock Exchange this Wednesday (8) after news that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) threatened to sue the company if it goes ahead with its plans to launch a program that allows users to earn interest by borrowing cryptoactives, called “Lend”.

The information was given by Coinbase itself, which also said that the regulator of the American market issued a “Wells” notice, an official way of informing a company that intends to sue it.

Therefore, the broker’s legal director, Paul Grewal, explained that the launch of this loan product will be delayed at least until October.

The “Lend” was announced by Coinbase a few months ago and will allow its users to earn income from their deposits using stablecoin US Dollar Coin (USDC) on the platform. This type of option becomes very attractive because it manages to deliver more than the percentages offered by banks, especially in countries with very low interest rates.

This is the case of the United States, which even with the expectation of an increase in rates until early 2023, still has very low interest rates. In addition, the country has also been one of the most critical of these new products, arguing, for example, that they should qualify as securities, falling under the SEC rules.

In this regard, Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, criticized the regulator’s stance, saying that the brokerage contacted the SEC, only receiving as a response that it qualifies as a security, but without giving guidance on what should be done .

“[Integrantes da SEC] They refuse to tell us why they believe this [Lend] it is a security and, instead, they subpoena us with lots of data (and we comply), demand testimony from our employees (and we comply) to tell us that they will sue us if we go ahead with the release, not providing us with any explanation as to why” , said Armstrong on Twitter.

In addition, the executive said the SEC refused to meet with him. The brokerage’s CEO said the regulator declined to talk, stating that “we are not meeting any crypto company.”

It’s worth remembering that in July, the US state of New Jersey ordered the cryptocurrency platform BlockFi to stop offering interest-yielding accounts that raised $14.7 billion from investors, a product similar to what Coinbase wants to launch.

At 1:30 pm (Eastern time), Coinbase shares traded on Wall Street registered losses of 2.41%, quoted at US$ 260.41, after dropping to US$ 253.88 in the day’s low.

Regarding the impact on the shares, Levante’s team of analysts explains that, although the loan service was still in the development stage, the SEC notification meant a delay in the launch of the project and, consequently, a delay in the extraction of results about what had been invested in recent months.

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