The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) intensified its regulatory actions against cryptocurrencies by including 10 additional tokens in its charges against Binance, the largest crypto exchange.
These tokens, including SOL, ADA, MATIC, FIL, ATOM, SAND, MANA, ALGO, AXS, and COTI, were labeled as “crypto asset securities” by the SEC in court documents.
The regulatory agency accused Binance of unlawfully soliciting U.S. investors to trade these securities on unregistered platforms.
While no civil suits have been filed against the issuers of these tokens, the SEC’s complaint against Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) alleges numerous violations of crypto securities laws.
The SEC’s complaint against Binance and CZ encompasses a wide range of crypto securities law violations, implicating multiple tokens.
Mike Selig, a counsel in the Asset Management Department, highlighted the SEC’s strong language, stating that the defendants’ “blatant disregard” for the law allowed them to enrich themselves while jeopardizing investors’ assets.
The news of the SEC charges had a negative impact on token prices, with SOL losing up to 8%, while MATIC and ADA declined by close to 6%.
Misappropriation of User Funds and Similarities to FTX Case: Among the allegations against Binance, the SEC claimed that the exchange misappropriated user funds, drawing parallels to the charges brought against FTX and its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried.
The SEC accused Binance of engaging in unlawful trading activities and issuing unregistered securities. Notably, the SEC classified Binance’s native token, BNB, and stablecoin BUSD as securities.
Additionally, a Binance-affiliated staking affiliate was implicated in offering unregistered securities. It is worth mentioning that the SEC’s inclusion of additional tokens in a lawsuit against an exchange is not unprecedented, as demonstrated in their 2022 lawsuit against a former Coinbase employee over insider trading, which has since been resolved.