SEC Sues World's Biggest Crypto Exchange

Binance denies wrongdoing, but move rattles Bitcoin investors
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2023 3:15 PM CDT
SEC Sues World's Biggest Crypto Exchange
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao in a file photo.   (AP Photo, File)

It's another big jolt to the world of crypto: The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday accused Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, of engaging in a slew of shady financial practices, reports the Wall Street Journal. In all the SEC filed 13 charges against Binance and co-founder Changpeng Zhao, per NBC News. Among other things, regulators accused the company of mishandling customers' money, illegally diverting some of those funds to another trading entity controlled by Zhao called Sigma Chain, and lying to regulators all throughout.

Zhao and his team operated in "blatant disregard" of US securities laws and “enriched themselves by billions of US dollars while placing investors’ assets at significant risk," according to the civil lawsuit, per the Journal and the New York Times. In a blog post, Binance denied wrongdoing, called the case a “misguided and conscious refusal to provide much-needed clarity and guidance to the digital asset industry," and promised to fight back "vigorously." The case, which follows the FTX fiasco, rattled crypto investors on Monday. Bitcoin had fallen more than 5% on Monday to below $26,000 per coin. (More cryptocurrency stories.)

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