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Coinbase, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S., has stated that the staking services offered on its platform do not constitute securities. The statements, made in the wake of the $30 million settlement that Kraken, another U.S.-based crypto exchange, completed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), also criticize the institution’s approach to the issue.

Coinbase Defends Its Staking-as-a-Service Program

Coinbase, one of the leading U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchanges, has published a blog post differentiating its staking-as-a-service program from others in the market, and clarifying that, for the institution, this kind of service does not constitute a security offering.

In a blog post published on February 10, Paul Grewal, chief legal officer of the company, states how getting this point wrong in regulation may affect the whole crypto industry in the country. The article explains the stance of the company on the issue, stating:

Staking is not a security under the US Securities Act, nor under the Howey test. Trying to superimpose securities law onto a process like staking doesn’t help consumers at all and instead imposes unnecessarily aggressive mandates that will prevent US consumers from accessing basic crypto services.

Furthermore, Grewal also criticized the way that the U.S. SEC is handling cryptocurrency regulation, explaining that regulation by enforcement is a “poor substitute” to actual rulemaking.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler Hints at More Regulatory Actions

The position of Coinbase seems to directly oppose the stance that the U.S. SEC has taken when it comes to centralized platforms offering cryptocurrency staking services. On Feb. 9, the institution completed a $30 million settlement with Kraken, another cryptocurrency exchange, for the unregistered sale and offer of these services to its customers.

Gary Gensler, chairman of the SEC, has hinted at more actions of this kind coming for other players in the industry, stating that these companies need to disclose the risk associated with such activities to their customers. On Feb. 10, in an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Gensler stated:

Other platforms should take note of this, and seek to come into compliance, do the proper disclosures, registration and alike.

Coinbase offers cryptocurrency staking programs for different cryptocurrencies as part of its service portfolio and collects a flat fee for operating these services. In a recent report, JPMorgan predicted that new staking funds coming to Ethereum after the upcoming Shanghai upgrade are likely to go to decentralized platforms like Lido due to the different benefits they offer compared to centralized providers.

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What do you think about Coinbase’s position on cryptocurrency staking-as-service programs? Tell us in the comments section below.

Sergio Goschenko

Sergio is a cryptocurrency journalist based in Venezuela. He describes himself as late to the game, entering the cryptosphere when the price rise happened during December 2017. Having a computer engineering background, living in Venezuela, and being impacted by the cryptocurrency boom at a social level, he offers a different point of view about crypto success and how it helps the unbanked and underserved.

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