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Binance Responds to SEC’s Complaint, Pledges “Vigorous” Defense Amid Overwhelming Industry Support

On Monday, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by traded volume, was hit with a lawsuit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleging violations of federal securities laws.

Through thirteen charges, the SEC claimed that the exchange, led by CEO Changpeng Zhao ‘CZ’, offered unregistered securities through its BNB token and other tokens. The agency also accused Zhao and various Binance entities of engaging in deceptive practices, conflicts of interest, inadequate disclosure, and deliberate evasion of legal obligations.

In response to the charges, Binance issued a statement expressing disappointment with the SEC’s decision to file a complaint, despite actively cooperating with the agency in extensive good-faith discussions to reach a negotiated settlement.

Binance further criticized the SEC’s approach, accusing the commission of lacking clarity and guidance in the digital asset industry. According to the exchange, “The SEC’s refusal to productively engage with us is just another example of the Commission’s misguided and conscious refusal to provide much-needed clarity and guidance to the digital asset industry.” 

Binance also argued that the SEC’s actions undermined America’s position as a global hub for financial innovation and leadership. It noted that the SEC’s actions were driven by a desire to claim jurisdictional ground and make headlines rather than protect investors.

That said, the exchange expressed its intention to defend its platform, asserting, “We intend to defend our platform vigorously… We take the SEC’s allegations seriously, but they should not be the subject of an SEC enforcement action.”

While some believe SEC’s decision to sue Binance was long overdue due to the long-felt apparent bad blood between the two entities, the industry has overwhelmingly criticized the SEC due to its latest overreach. Since Monday, industry partners have rallied behind Binance overwhelmingly, emphasizing the importance of defending this technology from what they perceive as misguided lawsuits.

Honestly, what is happening isn’t anything new. It’s always the same fight between freedom and authoritarianism just with different players, technology, and words,” tweeted Cardano co-founder Charles Honskinson. “It does seem like this event is a perfect opportunity for the entire industry to set aside its fragmented nature and unite for a common sense set of rules and guidelines that can prevent the United States from slipping into a dystopia that would make 1984 look like a vacation.”

Ben Todar, CEO of Moon Nation Game, also expressed his disappointment arguing that the SEC’s actions undermine the freedom and innovation associated with cryptocurrencies and raise suspicions about the commission’s role as a tool utilized by traditional banks to stifle the growth of digital currencies.

“By targeting Binance, the SEC appears to align with the interests of established financial institutions that perceive cryptocurrencies as a threat to their dominance,” he wrote.

That said, as the legal battle between Binance and the SEC unfolds, the cryptocurrency industry watches closely, hoping for a resolution that balances regulatory oversight with innovation and consumer protection.

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