SEC and Binance US Set to Negotiate Deal to Avert Total Asset Freeze

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Key takeaways:

  • According to United States District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, the two parties must attempt to settle.
  • At the end of business hours on June 15, there will be an update on the negotiations with the magistrate.

Binance.US and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States have agreed to collaborate on a plan that will enable the exchange to avoid having all of its assets frozen.

U.S. District Court Amy Berman Jackson directed the two organizations to a magistrate court on June 14, according to Bloomberg, so that they might work towards a compromise agreement to preserve consumer assets without having to shut down the exchange. At a hearing on June 13, Jackson stated:

“Shutting it down completely would create significant consequences not only for the company but for the digital asset markets in general,” 

Judge Jackson observed that until the two parties had resolved the issue with the magistrate, she would not make a final determination about the SEC’s motion for a temporary restraining order.

At the end of business hours on June 15, there will be an update on the negotiations with the magistrate. She added that it appeared the SEC and Binance US were “not that far apart” from coming to a consensus on the issue.

Before Judge Jackson decided during the hearing, John Read Stark, a former SEC enforcement lawyer, started a discussion on Twitter regarding the disagreement between the parties’ intended outcomes.

But he added that this doesn’t preclude the judge from mediating a settlement to reach a middle ground. Stark’s remarks highlight the nature of the predicament and make it clear that, despite there being a conflict, a resolution is still possible. 

On June 6, the SEC moved urgently for a temporary restraining order against Binance US after charging that Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao had access to customer assets there. The regulator claimed Zhao transferred $12 billion from Binance through Merit Peak, a company he owned and controlled.

Binance US and Zhao both refuted the allegations that any money was ever mismanaged in a joint memorandum they presented on June 12 ahead of the hearing on the restraining order. They claimed that the SEC was “unable to identify a single instance” in which funds from Binance US customers have ever been misappropriated.

“Indeed, there is no ’emergency’ here at all, other than the one manufactured by the SEC for its own purposes.”

On June 11, the SEC of Nigeria formally deemed Binance to be operating illegally in the nation. The SEC said that Binance Nigeria Limited was actively encouraging Nigerian investors to trade cryptocurrency on its unregistered platforms despite neither being registered with nor subject to the commission’s regulation.

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