Binance halts US dollar deposits amid SEC crackdown

9 Jun 2023

Binance.US claims its banking partners are planning to suspend US dollar withdrawals as early as next week and has advised customers to ‘take appropriate action’.

The US arm of crypto exchange Binance is suspending US dollar deposits and is preparing to pause withdrawals next week, as it faces legal pressure from a US agency.

Binance.US said it was notified by banking partners that its USD withdrawal channels will be paused as soon as 13 June and has encouraged customers to “take appropriate action”. The exchange also warned of a potential downtime in withdrawals due to “elevated volumes and weekend bank closures”.

The crypto exchange said this is the result of a legal challenge from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which presented Binance and its CEO with 13 separate charges earlier this week.

The US regulator claims Binance and its founder Changpeng Zhao evaded the law, failed to disclose certain details to investors and have been secretly operating the US trading platform from behind the scenes.

Binance.US claimed on Twitter that the SEC is conducting “extremely aggressive and intimidating tactics” as part of an “ideological campaign” against the US digital asset industry.

“While we remain open to a productive compromise that enables a thriving digital asset marketplace in America, Binance.US will continue to vigorously defend ourselves, our customers and industry against the meritless attacks of the SEC,” Binance.US said.

The SEC also sued crypto exchange Coinbase earlier this week for allegedly operating as an “unregistered national securities exchange, broker and clearing agency”.

Both cases impacted the prices of various cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin and Ether, two of the biggest cryptocurrencies, saw their prices drop after the SEC took aim at Binance.

The crypto sector is also facing new pressure in the UK, as a regulator plans to introduce “tough” new rules to reign in the advertising of crypto assets, due to concerns the market is unregulated and risky for investors.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic