A new dispute has unfolded in Coinbase’s ongoing legal tussle with the US’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This time, the crypto exchange is accusing the regulator of “behaving arbitrarily and capriciously”, reports CoinDesk. The accusation comes after the SEC denied the firm’s formal petition for new rules tailored for the crypto industry.

SEC’s tough crackdown on the industry last year resulted in a number of high profile legal cases that saw more than 50 cryptocurrencies declared as securities, and the firms that sell them – including Coinbase – charged with running unregistered securities exchanges. Now, Coinbase is arguing that in order to claim authority over crypto assets, SEC should write new crypto-specific regulations that clarify how those assets should be treated.

No clear direction

“The SEC demands that the industry comply with inapplicable, inapt, and still-evolving securities-law requirements or else join the many companies now facing enforcement actions—including Coinbase,” writes the company in its filing. “Yet the SEC refuses to conduct the rulemaking needed to set stable standards, to show how it believes compliance with those irrelevant requirements is even possible, and to provide a path to do so.”

In a statement following the rejection of Coinbase’s formal petition in December last year, SEC chair Gary Gensler says, “It is important to maintain commission discretion in setting its own rulemaking priorities.” He claims that SEC is already “pursuing numerous undertakings applicable to crypto asset securities and intermediaries”.

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