US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is preparing for a lengthy legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after the regulator warned the company of potential securities law violations, CEO Brian Armstrong stated, to CNBC in an interview on April 18.

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Coinbase received a Wells Notice from the US SEC on March 22, indicating possible enforcement action. The notice is usually the last step before the regulator files charges. In response, Armstrong expressed disappointment, revealing that the company had not received clear details from the SEC about the alleged violations. He told CNBC:

“We’ve met with them over 30 times in the last year…we’ve never gotten a single response about what we can do better or differently, and then this notification comes from Wells. I think we’re going to have to stop going to court to get the clarity we need and create case law.”

Armstrong said his company is prepared for a long battle with the SEC, if necessary. Armstrong explained to CNBC that while litigation is not the preferred outcome, Coinbase may have to go to court to get the clarity it needs. The CEO also criticized the SEC’s lack of clarity for companies in the crypto industry, accusing the regulator of an “abdication of responsibility” and of not publishing clear rules for the market.

During a fintech event held in London on April 18, Armstrong revealed that Coinbase may consider moving out of the United States due to a lack of regulatory clarity. He mentioned that the company is looking into other markets, with the UK being a priority due to its efforts to position itself as a cryptocurrency hub.

On April 17, the SEC charged cryptocurrency trading platform Bittrex and its co-founder and former CEO William Shihara with operating an unregistered national exchange, broker, and clearing agency. The regulator also filed another complaint against Bittrex Global.

Former head of the SEC’s Office of Internet Control, John Reed Stark, shared on Twitter that in light of the recent SEC charges against Bittrex, he believes “Coinbase is next.

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