SEC Probes Binance.US Over Customer Asset Handling, Binance.US Cuts Two-Thirds Of Staff
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SEC Probes Binance.US Over Customer Asset Handling, Binance.US Cuts Two-Thirds Of Staff

In the unfolding narrative of the protracted conflict between the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Binance.US, regulatory scrutiny has reached a heightened intensity. 

Concerns raised by the SEC regarding the cryptocurrency exchange’s compliance with information requests have cast a looming shadow over Binance Holdings and its American counterpart, BAM Trading Services, which operates under the banner of Binance.US.

Obstacles In Information Disclosure Prompt SEC Action

The SEC lawsuit, initiated last year, has taken a nuanced turn by scrutinizing the influence wielded by Binance employees situated outside the US over the funds belonging to American customers. 

A consent order, sanctioned by Judge Amy Berman Jackson, compelled Binance.US to unequivocally demonstrate control over its clientele’s assets, triggering an accelerated discovery phase to validate compliance.

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Yet, the SEC has encountered impediments in obtaining comprehensive disclosure from the exchange, hinting at potential hesitancy or incapacity on the part of the exchange’s personnel to fulfill information requests regarding asset management and control mechanisms.

Binance.US’s Vigorous Defense Amid Skepticism, Regulatory Dispute

In response to the SEC’s allegations, Binance.US has robustly defended its compliance endeavors, underscoring its cooperation with document requests and furnishing evidence to substantiate its claim of dominion over customer assets.

Despite the exchange’s steadfast assertions, the SEC remains skeptical about the self-governance professed by the company, particularly with regards to plausible access by Binance Holdings employees through the servers of Amazon Web Services, which host the wallet software for Binance.US.

The ongoing regulatory discord has exposed potential fissures in the purported exclusive control asserted by Binance.US over its private keys and customer assets.

Impact On Binance.US Operations And Workforce

Meanwhile, the SEC’s endeavors last year to halt Binance.US operations through a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) have left an enduring imprint on the cryptocurrency exchange.

In a deposition disclosed by Binance.US executive Christopher Blodgett, the immediate aftermath of the TRO witnessed a substantial outflow of assets, tallying approximately $1 billion. 

This massive exodus triggered a staggering 75% loss in revenue, forcing the company to implement significant layoffs, downsizing its workforce by two-thirds.

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The fiscal toll on Binance.US is palpable, with legal costs skyrocketing to $10 million and auditor expenses surging by a factor of “10x.” 

The rupture in banking relationships further compounded the predicament, preventing customers from withdrawing their digital assets into fiat.

This financial strain has impeded the exchange’s ability to respond to discovery requests from the SEC, as teams contend with stretched resources due to the substantial reduction in headcount.

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