US regulator asks court to freeze crypto giant Binance’s assets

Regulators have sued Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao for allegedly operating a ‘web of deception’.

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance [File: Dado Ruvic/Reuters]

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has asked a federal court to issue a temporary restraining order to freeze the US assets of cryptocurrency exchange Binance.

The motion, filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday, comes a day after US regulators sued Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao for allegedly operating a “web of deception”, piling further pressure on the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange.

In the motion, the SEC accused Binance of years of violative conduct, including “disregard” for US laws and “evasion of regulatory oversight”.

The holding company of Binance is based in the Cayman Islands. Binance.US is its US affiliate. Binance said the SEC’s motion only concerned Binance.US.

After the SEC filed the motion, Binance.US said its user assets would remain safe and the platform would continue normal deposit and withdrawal operations. It added it would defend itself in court and called the SEC’s step “unwarranted”.

The SEC alleged on Monday that Binance artificially inflated its trading volumes, diverted customer funds, failed to restrict US customers from its platform and misled investors about its market surveillance controls. Binance is also facing US legal actions by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Justice Department.

Source: Reuters