A proposed class action alleges Coinbase has failed to disclose that 79 crypto tokens bought and sold on its platform are in fact unregistered securities.
The 255-page lawsuit claims that Coinbase’s sale of the following tokens, listed by their trade symbols, violates federal and state law given the company’s “centralized” cryptocurrency platforms are not registered as a securities exchange or broker-dealer:
The suit says that although some digital assets closely resemble Bitcoin or other commodities in that they’re decentralized, others align more closely with traditional securities in that they represent an individual’s investment in a project that is to be undertaken with funds raised through the sale of tokens. Like traditional securities, the case states, investors buy these tokens in the hope that their value will increase as the issuer does something that will in turn give the token value.
Moreover, the similarity of certain digital assets to traditional securities is enhanced by the fact that the tokens are offered to the public by way of an initial coin offering (ICO), which is modeled after the initial public offering (IPO) of a traditional security, the lawsuit adds.
Despite this, none of the 79 tokens at issue are registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or state regulators, the complaint says. As a result, purchasers have no access to the disclosures that come with the issuance of traditional securities, and receive at most a so-called “whitepaper” that, while describing a token, does not satisfy federal and state prospectus requirements, according to the case. Further, whitepapers are often supplemented by ads and social media posts that promote a particular token, the suit notes.
The lawsuit argues that the Coinbase platforms—Coinbase and Coinbase Pro—are considered “exchanges” under federal law given they perform the functions of a traditional exchange by bringing together buy and sell orders and use established and nondiscretionary methods to set the prices at which the orders are executed.
The lawsuit looks to cover all persons and entities who transacted in any of the 79 tokens listed on this page on the Coinbase platform and/or the Coinbase Pro platform between October 8, 2019 and the present.
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Camp Lejeune residents now have the opportunity to claim compensation for harm suffered from contaminated water.