An amicus brief has been filed by Coinbase with a federal court regarding the ongoing litigation between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Ripple Labs. In hopes of strengthening Ripple’s case against the SEC, which sued Ripple in 2020 on allegations that XRP was sold as an unregistered security, Coinbase joins the Blockchain Association, a lobbyist group representing the industry, SpendTheBits, an app that uses XRP, and John Deaton, a lawyer.
As the name suggests, an amicus brief also known as a “friend of the court” is a legal document that contains advice or information relating to a court case that has been provided by an organization or individual who is not directly involved in the case.
A series of tweets, issued by the exchange’s chief lawyer, Paul Grewal, on Oct. 31 indicated that Coinbase had asked the presiding judge for permission to file an amicus brief in support of Ripple Labs, saying the case served as a textbook example of just how critical fair notice is.
Given the absence of SEC rulemaking for the cryptocurrency industry, the question of whether the SEC has given fair notice before bringing an enforcement action against sales of one of the thousands of unique digital assets will often be highly fact-intensive, which makes it particularly ill-suited for adjudication on summary judgment.Reads the filing
In addition, Coinbase said most digital assets traded on its exchange do not represent ownership stakes or pay returns to investors like shares in public companies. The exchange’s amicus brief in the Ripple case comes two weeks after it backed Grayscale, which operates the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), in its legal battle with the SEC over the regulator’s refusal to approve its Bitcoin ETF application.