The US wants to freeze the assets of the largest crypto market in the world.
The US 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, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing a filing in a federal court in Washington, DC.
The motion comes a day after the government agency sued Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao. The SEC news release said that Zhao and Binance “engaged in an extensive web of deception, conflicts of interest, lack of disclosure, and deliberate evasion of the law.” The fees are for Binance Holdings Ltd. and Binance.US, which is a subsidiary of Binance Holdings Ltd.
Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, said in a statement that it was “disappointed” and “disheartened” by the lawsuit and warned that the SEC’s actions “undermine America’s role as a global hub for financial innovation and leadership.”
“Any claims that user assets on the Binance.US platform have ever been at risk are simply false,” the company said.
This is part of a larger effort in the US to shut down crypto platforms. Also, on Tuesday, the SEC, whose main job is to make sure people don’t try to manipulate the financial markets, sued a big cryptocurrency platform called Coinbase, saying it was operating illegally because it hadn’t registered with the regulator first.
Since the collapse of the FTX exchange last year, which caused investors to panic and wiped billions off the market value of the crypto industry, officials have paid more attention to crypto trading platforms. Lawmakers have been asking for the industry to be regulated more strictly and for more information to be made public about how crypto companies work and how they handle customer funds.