Effective March 13, Coinbase will discontinue trading of Binance USD (BUSD) on its cryptocurrency exchange.
Paxos, a company specializing in digital assets, has issued this stablecoin in partnership with Binance, a major competitor of Coinbase. Customers will be able to withdraw their BUSD balances at any time. The controversial Binance-related stablecoin issuance was abruptly halted after being ordered to do so by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS).
Paxos claims to have received a letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) indicating that the powerful regulator is thinking about recommending an action claiming that BUSD is a security. Therefore, Paxos would have to comply with federal securities laws and register the distribution of the controversial stablecoin.
It would have far-reaching effects on the burgeoning stablecoin market if the SEC took action against Paxos and deemed BUSD unregistered security. It’s possible that other stablecoin issuers will need to follow Paxos’s lead and register with the SEC, or face the prospect of a legal battle. The Howey test will be used to determine whether BUSD is an investment contract, which could result in stricter regulation.
Paxos has stated that it is willing to take the SEC to court to defend its position that BUSD is not a security under federal securities laws. But there are a number of possible outcomes, including Paxos settling with the SEC and admitting that BUSD is a security, which would likely cause other stablecoin issuers to follow Paxos’ lead and register. Alternatively, the SEC may mandate transparency from digital currency issuers by regulating the underlying assets of stablecoins.