Was Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Entitled to a Meeting With the SEC?

Was Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Entitled to a Meeting With the SEC?

Ephrat Livni, a DealBook business and policy reporter at the New York Times, discusses Coinbase’s fight with the SEC over its Lend product and El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender. Show highlights:

  • why Coinbase is unhappy with what it calls the SEC’s “sketchy” behavior
  • how Coinbase’s Lend product is structured and why it might be a security
  • why Ephrat considers Coinbase’s reaction to the SEC’s decision on Lend to be “trolling”
  • what we can learn from SEC chair Gary Gensler’s letters with Senator Elizabeth Warren
  • what legal precedence the SEC is leaning on in its decision about Lend
  • how to explain the SEC’s choice to not meet with Coinbase in Washington
  • why Ephrat thinks Brian Armstrong sounds entitled
  • Why even pro-Bitcoin groups in the US take issue with El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender
  • why Ephrat thinks Bitcoin is not a practical payment mechanism for El Salvadorans
  • how El Salvadorans have reacted to the law
  • why Ephrat believes El Salvador’s mandate to accept BTC is philosophically problematic for Bitcoiners

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Episode Links

Ephrat Livni

  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/el72champs 
  • New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/by/ephrat-livni 

Coinbase

  • Brian Armstrong tweet thread: https://twitter.com/brian_armstrong/status/1409555338836078592
  • Coinbase blog: https://blog.coinbase.com/the-sec-has-told-us-it-wants-to-sue-us-over-lend-we-have-no-idea-why-a3a1b6507009 
  • Coinbase Lend: https://www.coinbase.com/lend 
  • Howey and Reves test: https://securities-law-blog.com/2014/11/25/what-is-a-security-the-howey-test-and-reves-test/ 

Bitcoin and El Salvador

  • CoinDesk coverage:

    • https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2021/09/07/as-el-salvador-enacts-bitcoin-law-locals-remain-confused-about-implementation/ 
  • Wall Street Journal coverage: https://www.wsj.com/articles/bitcoin-comes-to-el-salvador-first-country-to-adopt-crypto-as-national-currency-11631005200
  • CNN coverage: https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/06/business/bitcoin-price-el-salvador-intl-hnk/index.html
  • CBS coverage: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bitcoin-el-salvador-legal-currency/#:~:text=As%20legal%20tender%20in%20El,subject%20to%20capital%20gains%20tax
  • Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/technology/it-guy-in-chief-president-tries-fix-el-salvadors-bitcoin-woes-2021-09-08/ 
  • Jerry Brito’s opinion: https://twitter.com/jerrybrito/status/1405660809024393221 
  • Survey results: ​​https://www.reuters.com/technology/majority-salvadorans-do-not-want-bitcoin-poll-shows-2021-09-02/ 

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