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Binance has responded to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit by calling the regulator “unreasonable” and claiming it is using “blunt weapons of enforcement.”
The SEC today filed 13 civil charges against Binance—the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange—and its CEO Changpeng Zhao for allegedly breaking U.S. securities rules.
Via court documents and a press release, the American regulator alleged that the behemoth crypto company deliberately ignored U.S. securities laws and put clients’ money at risk in order to profit.
In response, Binance said it was “disheartened” by the SEC’s actions.
“Unfortunately, the SEC’s refusal to productively engage with us is just another example of the Commission’s misguided and conscious refusal to provide much-needed clarity and guidance to the digital asset industry,” the company said in a statement.
It added that the SEC’s moves “undermine America’s role as a global hub for financial innovation and leadership.”
The comments echo the stance of several U.S. lawmakers—especially Republicans—who claim that the regulator is coming down too hard on the digital asset industry.
Following the collapse of mega exchange FTX in November, American regulators have aggressively pursued major crypto brands to enforce compliance.
Binance added in an email to Decrypt that “user assets on Binance.US are safe; to insinuate otherwise is irresponsible, damaging to investors, and an abuse of the judicial process.”
Binance’s native BNB token plunged on the news of the SEC lawsuit—at the time of writing it was one of the worst performing major cryptocurrencies, down nearly 10% in 24 hours, trading for $276.54.
Binance.US is an American exchange for U.S. citizens that uses the Binance logo but is run independently, according to Binance.
But the SEC today alleged that “Zhao and Binance secretly controlled the Binance.US platform’s operations behind the scenes.”