The SEC’s Cryptocurrency Confusion

After years of threatening to sue Coinbase for listing unregistered securities, the Securities and Exchange Commission is now rumored to have launched an investigation into the company and other exchanges. If it proceeds, the SEC may be on track to make a serious mistake.

Skeptics wonder why Coinbase doesn’t simply register the tokens it sells with the SEC. It’s not that simple. Since its inception, cryptocurrency has confounded regulators because it is unlike any traditional financial instrument. Like regular money, crypto can be used to pay for ordinary goods. Bitcoin is one example, which has a growing base of thousands of merchants who accept payments directly over the currency’s Lightning Network.

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