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On Wednesday, a federal court in New York heard oral arguments in Coinbase’s motion to dismiss the SEC’s case against it for, among other things, allegedly acting as an unregulated securities exchange. Notably, Judge Katherine Polk Failla pressed the SEC to explain how it has jurisdiction over Coinbase in the case by defining what it considers a security.

Sam Enzer, a partner at Cahill Gorden & Reindel who represents Coinbase but not in this matter, joined Unchained to discuss why this case is so significant for the crypto industry, how he believes the government contradicted itself on the crucial definition of what constitutes a security, why he thinks the judge will not dismiss the case at this early stage, how the Ripple and Terraform Labs cases could be used by each side, and why he thinks Judge Failla is such a perfect choice to rule in this case.

Show highlights:

  • Why SEC v Coinbase holds important implications for the U.S. crypto ecosystem
  • What the SEC alleges against Coinbase, focusing on its trading platform, wallet, and staking services
  • How Coinbase forcefully counters the SEC’s claims as it strives to get the case dismissed
  • What the “major questions doctrine” entails and its critical role in this dispute
  • Why Sam perceives the judge as “extremely skeptical” of the SEC’s stance
  • Whether inconsistencies surfaced in the SEC lawyers’ arguments
  • What “strict liability” means and its frequent mention in this legal battle
  • What takeaways from the Ripple and Terraform Labs cases offer about secondary market sales
  • Why Sam believes Judge Katherine Polk Failla is exceptionally well-suited for this case
  • Whether Judge Failla might reject the motion to dismiss, and when

Episode Transcript

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Coinbase vs. SEC

Other cases



Terraform Labs