Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced Thursday night that it was halting its customers' dollar deposits, and encouraging them to withdraw their dollars from its accounts early next week, after its subpoena by the SEC, the US watchdog of the financial markets. On Monday, the SEC sued Binance, along with its boss, Changpeng Zhao, for circumventing regulations. According to the document filed with a federal court in Washington, Binance notably let US residents use its platform while the company was not registered with US authorities.
Since Thursday, "we have been suspending dollar deposits and warning our customers that our banking partners are preparing to suspend dollar withdrawal channels as early as June 13," Binance US said on Twitter. "We are taking these proactive steps as we move – for a while – to crypto-only exchanges," the platform added. "We encourage our customers to withdraw their dollars by bank transfer... by June 13," she wrote in a note to her clients. The SEC accuses Binance of not having registered its platform in the United States, its own cryptocurrencies, such as BNB (Binance Coin), or its other financial products.
Freeze assets affiliated with the company
The regulator also claims that contrary to what Binance has publicly maintained, the US subsidiary and the funds deposited by customers were controlled by the parent company. The SEC on Tuesday asked the courts to freeze assets affiliated with the company and Changpeng Zhao, previously considered the great rival of fallen cryptocurrency star Sam Bankman-Fried, former boss of cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Protesting the actions of the US policeman of the financial markets, the Binance platform said Thursday that it will "continue to defend itself vigorously", as well as "its customers and the industry" of cryptocurrencies "against the baseless attacks of the SEC".
This subpoena is a new assault on Binance after the one launched by the US regulator of financial products, the CFTC, which had subpoenaed the platform at the end of March for similar reasons.