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Coinbase celebrates win at US Supreme Court over arbitration

Coinbase celebrated a victory at the U.S. Supreme court on Friday, even if it wasn't directly related to the broader dispute it's been embroiled in with regulators in the country.

"We are grateful to the Supreme Court for its careful review," Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal wrote on Twitter. "Another example of why I believe in the American court system. The rule of law is sometime slow, and at times disappointing. But it remains our last, best hope in an imperfect democracy,” Grewal said.

The court sided with Coinbase in a 5-4 vote, bolstering the exchange’s ability to go through arbitration when dealing with customer disputes. Justice Brett Kavanaugh delivered the opinion on Friday morning.

Class action suit

This ruling came after Abraham Bielski filed a class action suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging that Coinbase “failed to replace funds fraudulently taken from the users’ accounts,” according to the opinion. That district court denied Coinbase’s motion to begin arbitration, which later brought into question whether the district court had to stay its proceedings.

“The sole question before this Court is whether a district court must stay its proceedings while the interlocutory appeal on arbitrability is ongoing. The answer is yes,” the justices said.

Dissenting opinion

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson filed the dissenting opinion and said the decision has “significant implications for federal litigation."

“This mandatory-general-stay rule for interlocutory arbitrability appeals comes out of nowhere. No statute imposes it. Nor does any decision of this Court,” Jackson said.

Coinbase has been engaged in a bitter battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over crypto regulation in the county, with the regulator suing the company earlier this month over alleged violations of securities laws.

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