The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken legal action against Binance and its affiliates, BAM Management and BAM Trading, by filing a motion for a temporary restraining order.
This move has the potential to freeze the assets of Binance’s U.S.-based platform, Binance.US. The SEC’s motion, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeks to prevent the defendants from altering or concealing records and allows for expedited discovery of potential evidence.
In response to the lawsuit, Binance.US reassured its users that their assets are secure, and the platform continues to operate normally.
SEC’s Allegations and Requested Relief: The SEC cites “years of violative conduct” and a disregard for U.S. laws, regulatory oversight, and financial transfers concerning Binance’s customers.
The regulatory agency also claims that Binance’s staking program on Binance.US falls under the definition of a security.
The SEC has requested repatriation and specified relief concerning the custody and control of fiat currency and crypto assets held on the Binance.US platform.
Impact on Binance.US and Customers: If the temporary restraining order is approved, Binance.US could face significant limitations on its operations and the handling of customer assets.
The SEC’s expedited approach aims to safeguard customer assets and prevent the dissipation of available assets during the legal proceedings.
Binance.US, however, reassures users that their assets remain safe and secure, with deposits and withdrawals functioning normally.
Involvement of Binance CEO CZ: The SEC’s temporary restraining order also names Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, alleging his intimate involvement in directing BAM Trading’s U.S. business operations. The inclusion of CZ in the order highlights the SEC’s scrutiny of his role within the company.
Binance’s Response: Binance has denied the SEC’s claims and emphasized their engagement in good-faith discussions to resolve the investigations.
Binance.US expressed that, until recently, the SEC had not expressed concerns about the safety of customer assets. The company’s counsel has been actively addressing the SEC’s recent concerns through continuous dialogue.