Crypto critics question SEC’s ethics ahead of Bitcoin ETF verdict
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is close to deciding the fate of spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) in the country. Amid this major development, legal experts criticized the SEC’s for its inconsistent handling of crypto related cases. This has raised concerns about ethical standards and the pursuit of justice.
Coinbase CLO goes after SEC
Paul Grewal, Chief Legal Officer at Coinbase, in a post highlighted skepticism about the SEC’s approach. He stated that mere “investments” should not be considered “investment contracts.” However, he mentioned that investment contracts must grant rights to future income, profits, or assets of an enterprise.
Grewal questioned the SEC’s position, referencing the character of “debt [or] equity participation” mentioned by the commission itself in the past.
Pro XRP lawyer jumps in
John Deaton, a pro XRP lawyer and amicus curiae in the SEC vs. Ripple crypto lawsuit, criticized the SEC’s legal practices. Deaton, a former federal prosecutor, emphasized the obligation of the US Government Attorneys to uphold justice. He argued that federal prosecutors, including the commission, have lost sight of the honor and privilege of representing the United States.
Deaton highlighted the natural conflict in the roles of defense attorneys for companies like Ripple or Coinbase. These are the companies that are expected to act solely in the interests of their clients. However, he underscored that federal prosecutors should be governed by the law and the pursuit of justice, rather than mere competitiveness. XRP lawyer criticized the SEC’s inconsistency and highlighted the agency’s stark arguments that contradict previous positions, leading to accusations of hypocrisy.
Deaton called for accountability within the SEC. He suggested that individuals, including SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, should be held responsible for what he sees as a departure from the principles of justice.
XRP lawyer even mentioned the possibility of sanctions against SEC lawyers. He cited the observations and criticisms from federal district and appellate court judges in various cryptocurrency-related cases. This includes those involving Ripple, Grayscale, Voyager Bankruptcy, and DebtBox.
On the market side, the global digital asset industry looked flat ahead of a possible Bitcoin ETF approval. The cumulative market cap dropped by 1.5% to stand at $1.63 trillion, at the press time. Meanwhile, the trading volume is up by 35% to stand around $58.8 billion.