Clearly, the term “regulated” has been misappropriated and causes tremendous confusion — or is even used as a ruse to convince customers that their investment is a lot safer than it actually is. For example, Coinbase often touts that they are a “regulated” firm, but they are not, at least not in the true sense of the word.
Yes, Coinbase is a publicly traded company and files quarterly reports with the SEC about their operations, as well as an annual report which must contain audited financial statements. Coinbase can get into SEC trouble if any of the statements, representations are misleading (by act or omission) and all information must represent a fair and accurate depiction of Coinbase’s financial condition.
Being an SEC publicly registered company is a big deal and a legitimate differentiator. And being an SEC-registered public company does imply some degree of oversight, at least relating to public disclosures, insider trading of its stock, and other SEC requirements. But being an SEC-registered public company is a far cry from being an actual SEC-registered financial firm.
Source: A New Crypto Regulatory Framework? No Thanks | John Reed Stark