Binance has faced opposition, legal challenges, and restrictions from regulators around the world. In a recent development, Belgium’s top regulator demands an immediate halt of crypto services from the crypto giant.
Challenges in Belgium
Recently, the Financial Services and Markets Commission (FSMA), Belgium’s foremost market regulator, has issued a stern directive to cryptocurrency exchange Binance, ordering the cessation of its services in the country.
The FSMA contends that Binance violates the law by providing exchange services for cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies, as well as custodial wallet services, from non-European Economic Area countries.
For that reason, the FSMA has requested that Binance immediately cease providing any of such services in Belgium, according to the FSMA announcement.
This latest setback for Binance comes amid an array of legal troubles faced by both Binance and its US counterpart. Regulators worldwide, including the United States, have expressed strong disapproval of the crypto giant.
Issues All Over The World
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in particular, has taken legal action against Binance and its founder Changpeng Zhao, accusing them of misusing customers’ funds, conducting market manipulation, and violating security laws.
On June 5, the U.S. SEC initiated a lawsuit against Binance, levying a total of 13 allegations. Among these allegations is the claim that funds from Binance and Binance.US were commingled in an account controlled by Merit Peak Limited, involving Changpeng Zhao, the company’s founder.
Another accusation posits that Binance.US engaged in money laundering transactions through a discreet Market Maker (MM) known as Sigma Chain, also owned by Changpeng Zhao. As a result, the SEC sought a court order to freeze the assets of Binance US.
Unsurprisingly, these legal battles have rattled the crypto market. Binance.US encountered further complications when it delisted over 100 trading pairs from its Advanced Trading interface and suspended its OTC service.
Concurrently, the prices of BTC, ETH, and BNB on Binance.US began to deviate from the global average.
Initially, the SEC proposed a complete freeze on the assets of Binance.US. However, subsequent negotiations between the parties led to an agreement.
Not only in the U.S., various branches in countries and territories such as the UK, the Netherlands, France, Cyprus, and others have also encountered difficulties, further adding to the company’s challenges.
By the end of the week, Binance reportedly initiated a lawsuit against the U.S. SEC, alleging the body provided false statements regarding the ongoing security lawsuit.
The statement issued in a press release said:
“Given that Changpeng Zhao and Binance have control of the platforms’ customers’ assets and have been able to commingle customer assets or divert customer assets as they please, as we have alleged, these prohibitions are essential to protecting investor assets.”
Binance’s legal team highlighted the lack of evidence supporting the allegations of commingling customers’ assets. The team contends that the lawsuit fails to provide substantiated proof of Binance’s involvement in such practices.
In a strategic move to bolster its legal defense, Binance Holdings Ltd. has enlisted the services of a former prosecutor from the Department of Justice (DOJ) as its representative in the ongoing legal battle in the U.S.
A court filing released on Thursday revealed that M. Kendall Day, a co-founder at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher’s Washington DC office, will serve as an advisor to Binance in the SEC lawsuit.
Day brings a wealth of experience, having spent 15 years as the acting deputy assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division of the Justice Department. During his tenure, Day held the crucial role of overseeing the Department’s anti-money laundering cases and served as the Head of Money Laundering and Asset Recovery on a national level.
His responsibilities encompassed handling various matters, including money laundering allegations, deferred prosecution agreements, and non-prosecution agreements.
With Day’s extensive background in navigating complex legal terrain related to financial crimes, Binance aims to strengthen its defense and navigate the SEC case effectively.