The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed lawsuits against cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase and Binance, resulting in the appointment of two United States District Court Judges who will preside over the cases. District Court Judge Jennifer H. Rearden will hear the case of SEC v Coinbase, while District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson is assigned to the case of SEC v Binance.
Judge Rearden, with a background as a commercial litigator, recently ruled on a crypto-related matter involving Binance.US. She approved the U.S. DOJ’s motion to temporarily halt a $1.03 billion deal between Binance.US and the bankrupt crypto lending platform Voyager Digital. Her decision favored the public interest over the sovereign interests of Voyager customers. Although her previous rulings are not an indication of the outcome for the SEC v Coinbase case, her experience in cryptocurrency-related disputes may prove valuable.
On the other hand, Judge Jackson does not appear to have any experience with cryptocurrency-related disputes. She has, however, presided over several high-profile and highly-political disputes, such as sentencing former advisors and friends of former U.S. President Donald Trump, Paul Manafort Jr and Roger J. Stone Jr. Judge Jackson’s experience in dealing with politically charged cases could bring unique insights to the SEC v Binance case.
The SEC alleges that both Binance and Coinbase broke various securities rules, most notably for offering cryptocurrencies considered to be unregistered securities. Binance is further accused of operating illegally in the United States. Both exchanges have confirmed they will “vigorously” defend the lawsuits laid against them.
As the regulatory environment surrounding cryptocurrency becomes increasingly complex, the outcomes of these lawsuits could have significant impacts on the industry and its future development. The presiding judges hold extensive legal experience, albeit with differing crypto-related backgrounds. The cryptocurrency community awaits with anticipation to see how these proceedings unfold and what long-term effects they may have on the innovative and rapidly evolving financial landscape.