New York Attorney General sues CoinEx crypto exchange over registration

Quick Take

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing cryptocurrency exchange CoinEx for failing to register with the state.
  • New York has been active in bringing lawsuits against crypto firms and individuals, including former Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky. 

New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing cryptocurrency exchange CoinEx for allegedly failing to register with the state.  

“CoinEx offered, sold, purchased and effected transactions in cryptocurrencies that are commodities and securities, without having been registered as a commodity broker dealer and a securities broker or dealer in New York,” according to a petition filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York on Wednesday.  

New York has been an active player in the crypto space with lawsuits against others, including Alex Mashinsky, the former CEO of crypto lender Celsius and in the past, actions against Bitfinex and Tether. The petition alleged that CoinEx “represented itself as an exchange” while not being registered with the state.

The exchange also failed to comply with a subpoena served in January, according to the petition.  

The attorney general said some of the crypto offered by CoinEx counted as commodities and securities under the Martin Act, a New York securities law, because “they represent investments of money in common enterprises with profits to be derived primarily from the efforts of others”.

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The attorney general’s office listed four tokens that included AMP, the LBRY token (“LBC”), LUNA and the Rally (“$RLY”). The petition seeks to stop CoinEx from engaging in unauthorized activities in state and wants to have New York IP addresses blocked from using exchange.

 James is also seeking  “a full accounting of New York accounts and all fees received from New York customers.”

CoinEx did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  


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About Author

Sarah is a reporter at The Block covering policy, regulation and legal happenings. Before, Sarah was a reporter with CQ Legal writing about securities regulation, which is where she first started reporting on crypto. Sarah has also written for The Bond Buyer and American Banker, among other finance-related publications. She graduated from the University of Missouri and earned a degree in print and digital journalism. Sarah is based in Washington D.C., and is an avid coffee lover. You can follow her on Twitt