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Coinbase warned by SEC of potential securities charges

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In this photo illustration, the Coinbase logo is displayed on a smartphone screen.Rafael Henrique | SOPA Images | Lightrocket | Getty ImagesThe Securities and Exchange Commission issued crypto exchange Coinbase a Wells notice, warning the company that it identified potential violations of U.S. securities law.Coinbase shares fell nearly 12% in extended trading after the news broke on Wednesday, adding to an 8.16% drop during regular traidng hours.”Based on discussions with the Staff, the Company believes these potential enforcement actions would relate to aspects of the Company’s spot market, staking service Coinbase Earn, Coinbase Prime and Coinbase Wallet,” Coinbase said in a regulatory filing. “The potential civil action may seek injunctive relief, disgorgement, and civil penalties.”The SEC has ramped up its enforcement of the crypto industry, bearing down on companies and projects that the regulator alleges were hawking unregistered securities. Reports first surfaced of an SEC probe into Coinbase in mid-2022.Months before the collapse of FTX in November, crypto markets were roiled by rising interest rates and a broad move out of risk, which contributed to the collapse of stablecoin Terra and the demise of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital and exchanges Celsius an …

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