SEC Escalates Battle with Binance.US Over Non-Cooperation
The ongoing clash between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Binance.US is escalating as the regulatory body pushes for a court order against the exchange, citing a lack of cooperation on Binance.US's part.
In a recent filing, the SEC accused Binance.US of failing to provide requested information and characterized the documents submitted by the exchange's holding company, BAM Holdings, as mostly unintelligible screenshots lacking dates or signatures.
Furthermore, the SEC alleged that the exchange refused to make essential witnesses available for deposition. Additionally, it claimed that Binance.US responded to requests for relevant communications with blanket objections and declined to provide documents typically kept as part of its regular business operations.
The SEC also raised concerns about Binance.US's redirection of inquiries about the custody of customer assets to an offshore custodian named Ceffu. Initially, the crypto exchange resisted sharing information about its relationship with Ceffu but later changed course, urging the regulator to approach Ceffu for details about how it managed BAM's wallets.
The regulatory agency expressed doubts about Binance.US's explanation of the role of Binance Entities in safeguarding BAM's crypto assets and Customer Crypto Assets. It questioned the ability of BAM personnel to maintain sole possession, custody, and control of these assets within the United States.
SEC's Legal Action:
As a result of these issues, the SEC is now seeking a court order to compel Binance.US to produce the requested documents and to challenge the exchange's opposition to the initial consent order. Additionally, the SEC is requesting a 14-day extension for the discovery period, pending approval of its latest court filing.
In contrast, Binance.US had previously sought court protection against the SEC's information requests, characterizing them as "troubling and inappropriate." The exchange argued that the SEC's demands constituted a "fishing expedition" that was overly broad and unreasonable.
The controversy surrounding Binance.US has also seen several high-ranking executives, including CEO Brian Shroder, head of legal Krishna Juvvadi, and chief risk officer Sidney Majalya, leave the company over the past week. Binance.US explained these departures as a strategic move to provide the platform with over seven years of financial runway, allowing it to continue operating as a crypto-only exchange.
The clash between Binance.US and the SEC remains a focal point in the crypto industry, with implications that extend beyond the exchange itself. The outcome of this battle will likely have a significant impact on the regulatory environment for cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States.