Coinbase abandons plans for crypto lending program after spat with the SEC

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Coinbase Global announced it is abandoning its plans for Lend, its cryptocurrency lending program that drew the ire of the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The decision, announced in an edited blog post published on the company's website on Friday, comes as SEC Chair Gary Gensler hardens his stance against cryptocurrency exchanges, highlighted in prepared remarks ahead of his appearance before the Senate banking committee on September 14.

"As we continue our work to seek regulatory clarity for the crypto industry as a whole, we've made the difficult decision not to launch," Coinbase said in its blog post, adding that it also discontinued the waitlist. "We will not stop looking for ways to bring innovative, trusted programs and products to our customers."

Coinbase said "hundreds of thousands of customers from across the country" signed up for the program.

A week before Gensler's warning, the cryptocurrency exchange on September 7 revealed the SEC's plans to sue Coinbase if it pushes through its release of the Lend program.

Coinbase said it received a Wells notice, a letter sent by the SEC when it plans to take enforcement action, saying its Lend product is considered a security. The offering, announced in June, would allow customers to earn 4% interest on their cryptocurrency holdings by lending tokens.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong fired off a series of tweets describing the regulator's decision as "sketchy behavior."

Coinbase made sure it was "proactively engaging" with the SEC to ensure the Lend program complied with the law, according to Paul Grewal, the company's chief legal officer.

The firm's reversal comes as the SEC tries to get a tighter grip on the rapidly growing digital asset space, which Gensler has called the "Wild West."

Read the original article on Business Insider

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