- SEC files lawsuit against Binance, alleging unregistered crypto asset securities.
- Ten tokens, including popular cryptocurrencies, identified in the complaint.
- Binance and Zhao accused of actively soliciting U.S. investors despite claiming to exclude them.
In a major legal development, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a lawsuit against Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. The SEC complaint specifically identifies ten tokens, including popular cryptocurrencies such as SOL, ADA, MATIC, FIL, ATOM, SAND, MANA, ALGO, AXS, and COTI, as unregistered crypto asset securities.
SEC Allegations and Binance’s U.S. Operations
This move by the SEC seen as an attack on the entire cryptocurrency industry, as some of the biggest names in the crypto market are now facing scrutiny. The complaint alleges that Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, actively solicited U.S. investors to trade on the Binance platforms, even after publicly stating that they would no longer serve U.S. investors.
According to the SEC, Binance and Zhao engaged in business activities within the United States. It includes obtaining business licenses, transacting business through the Binance.US platform, and employing personnel in the District of Columbia. The complaint further states that Binance estimated to have over 1.47 million U.S.-based investors on its platform. Moreover, it has continued to maintain a substantial U.S. customer base for several years.
The SEC argues that the defendant’s actions violated federal securities laws and had a substantial foreseeable effect within the United States. The complaint highlights Binance’s solicitation of U.S. investors via social media and internet postings. And also, Zhao’s directives to retain U.S. investors on the Binance.com platform.
This lawsuit signifies the SEC’s increased scrutiny and regulatory efforts in the crypto world. It seeks to enforce compliance with securities laws and protect investors from potential risks associated with unregistered securities.