Coinbase CEO claims SEC ordered delisting of all but Bitcoin: Report

By: Mark Jessy

Coinbase CEO claims SEC ordered delisting of all but Bitcoin: Report

July 31, 2023 9:38 AM

Brian Armstrong asserted SEC staff stated that all cryptocurrencies except Bitcoin are securities and requested that all other cryptocurrencies be delisted from the exchange.

According to CEO Brian Armstrong, Coinbase was once advised by the US Securities and Exchange Commission to delist all cryptocurrencies on its website except Bitcoin (BTC).

Armstrong stated→ to the Financial Times on July 31 that the Securities and Exchange Commission wants the exchange to delist the almost 250 coins on its platform before initiating a complaint against it.

The SEC reportedly stated at the time that "every asset other than Bitcoin is a security," according to Armstrong.

"We asked, How did you arrive at that?" Because that's not how we interpret the law," Armstrong continued.

He recalled the regulator telling him, "We're not going to explain it to you; you need to delist every asset other than Bitcoin."

In an interview with New York Magazine published in February, SEC Chair Gary Gensler made a similar argument that "everything other than Bitcoin" is a security subject to the agency's jurisdiction.


According to Armstrong, caving into the SEC's demands "would have essentially marked the end of the crypto industry" in the United States.

"It made the decision a little easier [...]" Let's go to court and see what the judge says."

On June 1st, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Coinbase, claiming the company was running an unlicensed exchange and naming 13 specific cryptocurrencies it claimed Coinbase was selling as unregulated investments. The regulator has previously filed a similar lawsuit against Binance.

According to the Financial Times, the SEC's enforcement office does not make formal orders for "companies to delist crypto assets," but its personnel may express their thoughts on whether acts may violate securities rules.

It is unclear which U.S. government agency is responsible for monitoring the cryptocurrency sector, given both the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have taken action against those involved in the industry.

On July 27, following its earlier passing by the House Financial Services Committee, a bill that would largely cede crypto jurisdiction to the CFTC and clarify the SEC's role with crypto passed the House Agricultural Committee.