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Elizabeth Warren-Challenger John Deaton to File Brief in Support of Coinbase Appeal in SEC Case Today: Fox

Julia Smith
Last updated: | 2 min read
A green-toned image depicting the U.S. Capitol Building with several Bitcoin symbols superimposed in the sky above, representing the growing influence of figures like John Deaton and Elizabeth Warren in the debate surrounding cryptocurrency regulation in the United States.
John Deaton's involvement in the Coinbase vs. SEC case underscores his commitment to advocating for clearer and more effective crypto regulations.

John Deaton, the crypto attorney turned Massachusetts senate candidate fighting for incumbent Elizabeth Warren’s seat in the senate, is set to file an amicus curiae brief in support of Coinbase’s interlocutory appeal against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Fox Business reporter Eleanor Terrett said Friday.

John Deaton Throws Support to Coinbase in Its SEC Appeal

According to Terrett’s X post, Deaton will file a brief supporting Coinbase’s appeal sometime in the afternoon of April 26.

The crypto exchange platform has been caught up in a tense legal battle with the SEC since the regulator sued Coinbase for violating federal securities law by operating as an unregistered crypto trading platform in June 2023.

Coinbase has attempted to push back against the SEC’s claims, most recently filing an interlocutory appeal in the United States District Court in the Southern District of New York in hopes of getting regulatory clarity over whether digital assets should be classified as securities.

While specific details of Deaton’s brief have yet to be disclosed, Terrett reports that the senate candidate criticizes the SEC’s wavering stance on whether or not digital assets are securities and the commission’s “ecosystem is the security argument.”​​

“Bitcoin is certainly distinguishable from other cryptocurrencies but claiming it’s not a security unlike other tokens because it doesn’t have an ecosystem, is just plain dumb,” Deaton states.

Elizabeth Warren, SEC Face Regulatory Criticism

The news of Deaton’s amicus curiae brief follows a recent X post by the Elizabeth Warren challenger slamming the U.S. government’s regulation-by-enforcement approach to cryptocurrencies.

“Because Congress is inept and because @GaryGensler is a bad faith regulator pursuing a political agenda, Coinbase is hoping to achieve regulatory clarity through the judicial system,” Deaton wrote.

The SEC has often been criticized for its heavy-handed regulatory tactics regarding crypto. Software development firm Consensys filed a lawsuit against the regulator Thursday over purportedly attempting to regulate Ethereum as a security.

Conversely, Warren has continued to advocate for stringent digital asset regulation, including the passage of the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act (DAAMLA). This act would heavily expand know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws to several critical actors in the crypto space, including miners, validators, and more.

“Name your bad guy and crypto is the way they can move money around,” Warren said in a recent senate committee hearing earlier this month. 

Deaton’s latest legal boost to Coinbase suggests increasing tension over the U.S. government’s treatment of the digital asset ecosystem. However, it’s unclear what, if any, effect the current legal challenges of the SEC will have on its regulatory stance toward digital assets.