Coinbase was planning its own entry into the field with Coinbase Lend, wherein customers could lend tokens to third parties via Coinbase and receive interest payments.
Coinbase and the SEC held talks about this new service, at which time the SEC told Coinbase it though the service would involve a “security”, which would make it illegal to offer to US clients. The SEC didn’t provide any specific details to that assertion, so Coinbase went ahead with a public announcement about the upcoming release of the service. The SEC countered with opening an investigation into the company and the new service.
Not a good look for the SEC.