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Consensys Challenges SEC in Legal Battle Over Ethereum’s Security Status

In a significant legal maneuver, MetaMask developer Consensys has taken the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to a Texas Federal Court, aiming to assert that Ethereum (ETH) is not a security and challenge the SEC’s expansive enforcement actions.

The lawsuit filed by Consensys contends that the SEC’s efforts to classify ETH as a security represent an overreach of its regulatory authority, potentially stifling innovation within crypto’s second-largest decentralized network. Consensys accuses the SEC of adopting a “reckless approach” that mischaracterizes blockchain technology and undermines its transformative potential.

Consensys’s legal filing, spanning 34 pages and revealed on April 25th, argues that the SEC’s aggressive enforcement stance could not only hinder innovation within U.S. capital markets but also impede progress in stablecoin policy and technological development globally. The company asserts that such regulatory overreach extends beyond the SEC’s intended mandate and risks stifling the growth of the crypto industry.

The lawsuit emerges amidst heightened scrutiny from the SEC, which recently sought an additional $158 million to rein in what it describes as the “wild west” of the digital asset ecosystem. Consensys’s legal action is also a response to a Wells Notice issued earlier in the month, indicating potential accusations against MetaMask for operating as an unregistered broker-dealer.

The crypto industry is rallying against broader regulatory investigations, including a probe into the Ethereum Foundation, which received voluntary inquiries from unnamed state authorities. As reported by crypto.news, industry giants like Coinbase and Kraken are actively contesting federal violations allegations, emphasizing the lack of clear regulatory guidance from the SEC.

Consensys’s legal challenge signals a broader pushback against regulatory uncertainty in the crypto market, with industry stakeholders and dissenting SEC Commissioners like Hester Peirce calling for clearer rules to support innovation and growth in the nascent sector.

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