Alabama, 9 US States Give Coinbase 28 Days To Prove Why They Shouldn’t Be Shut Down

Cryptocurrency giant Coinbase Global (NASDAQ: COIN) and its parent company find themselves in hot water as the Alabama Securities Commission (ASC) issues a show cause order, giving them just 28 days to justify their continued operations in the state.

The ASC is part of a multi-state task force, consisting of 10 state securities regulators, including California, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, South Carolina, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

“The Alabama Show Cause Order alleges that Coinbase violates the securities law by offering its staking rewards program accounts to Alabama residents without a registration to offer or sell these securities,” the ASC said in a statement.

Staking involves investors locking their crypto assets for a specific period to support the operation of a blockchain, with the promise of receiving additional crypto assets as rewards.

The order comes on the heels of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing a lawsuit against Coinbase in New York federal court, accusing the company of acting as an unregistered broker and exchange.

“This action is another step toward ensuring that investors in crypto asset products are offered the same protections under our laws and are fully aware of the risks involved in these investments,” ASC Director Amanda Senn said.

According to the ASC, Coinbase’s staking rewards program entices investors to deposit their crypto assets with the company, which then facilitates staking on the blockchain. The program advertises potential returns of up to 6% on investments, with Coinbase taking a share of the generated profits. However, the ASC argues that Coinbase failed to comply with Alabama’s laws, raising concerns about consumer protection.

It is important to note that the ASC’s action does not outrightly prohibit Coinbase from offering staking services, but rather seeks compliance with the state’s laws and regulations. Nonetheless, this development casts a shadow of doubt over the future of Coinbase’s operations in Alabama.

The ASC estimates that over 33,000 Coinbase accounts belong to Alabama investors, underscoring the significance of this regulatory action. Additionally, it should be noted that Coinbase’s staking rewards program accounts nationwide, totaling nearly 3.5 million, lack the insurance coverage provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

Information for this briefing was found via the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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