Coinbase maintains in its pursuit of access to Gensler’s private communications


Coinbase contended in a recent letter to a district court judge that the SEC Chair’s private communications are a “appropriate source of discovery” that is essential for the establishment of a reasonable defense.

Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange based in the United States, has maintained its pursuit of Gary Gensler’s personal communications, contending that they are a “legitimate source of discovery” in its ongoing dispute with the financial regulator.

In April, Coinbase requested that Gensler provide personal communications, contending that they were pertinent to its case. This encompasses all documents that pertain to cryptocurrency, dating back to 2017.

In a letter to District Court Judge Katherine Failla on June 28, the Securities and Exchange Commission attempted to obstruct Coinbase’s request, stating that it “rejected this position and proposal.”

Coinbase has filed a letter on July 3 in which it challenges this assertion, asserting that Gensler’s personal communications regarding the regulatory status of digital assets and crypto exchanges during his tenure as SEC chair are “the foundation of Coinbase’s fair notice defense.”

“Mr. Gensler has purported to communicate with market participants and share his views at times expressly in his personal capacity,” wrote Coinbase, adding that this was “all the more cause” to investigate his private communications.

“The SEC cannot and does not contend that Mr. Gensler failed to communicate with market participants regarding these matters via personal email during his tenure as Chair. Rather, they simply decline to inquire.”

The lawyers also emphasized that Gensler’s communications, both during his tenure as SEC Chair and prior to it, were equally significant, as they would enable them to gain a more comprehensive understanding of his regulatory philosophy over time.

Coinbase’s legal chief stated in a July 3 post on X that their endeavors to achieve “reasonable discovery” were initiated in response to a legal dispute initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal stated, “We have responded to [the SEC’s] attempt to obstruct reasonable discovery from Mr. Gensler in a case that it—not Coinbase—opted to file.”

In June 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Coinbase, alleging that the crypto exchange had violated federal securities laws by listing 13 tokens that it claimed were securities. The SEC also claimed that Coinbase had been operating as a “unregistered securities broker” since 2019, nearly two years prior to its initial public offering in April 2021.

Coinbase contends that the tokens listed on its exchange are not securities and do not comply with SEC regulations.

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