Binance v. SEC: Hearing in Washington DC over BAM motion to compel starts now


Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao played it cool in the hours leading up to the hearing in District of Columbia District Court on Sept. 18, posting a picture of branded merchandise with a cheery message about the company’s interns. 

He is likely to pay close attention to the court proceedings, however, as the disagreement between the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Binance.US is at a high pitch after a week of adversarial filings.

Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui is holding a hearing on the SEC’s motion to compel, which Binance has characterized as “unduly burdensome.” The SEC said that Binance is uncooperative, despite agreeing to a consent order on discovery in the SEC’s case against it for unregistered securities operations and other allegations.

Custody of Binance.US customer assets is one of the big questions being put forward by the regulator. SEC Office of Internet Enforcement chief John Reed Stark noted in an X post that Ceffu acknowledges being legally known as Bifinity in its “Terms of Use” page. Bifinity has been identified as part of Binance Group, Stark added. If that is the case, Binance.US customer assets are in practice custodied by Binance and in danger of being siphoned off, observers add. 

Binance.US had agreed that only U.S. staff would have access to customer funds. 

The newly unsealed sections of the complaint filed by the SEC auditor against Binance, Binance.US and CZ in June found: 

“[It] was difficult and sometimes not possible to pull wallet balances en masse as of a historical point in time. This makes it very difficult to ensure the Company is full[y] collateralized at specific points in time.”

This is a developing story, and further information will be added as it becomes available.

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