SEC files complaint against Binance

The SEC has filed a complaint against Binance, various related companies, and Binance CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao. They allege that the company has been acting with "blatant disregard" of US securities laws through their operation of unregistered trading platforms, have performed multiple offers of unregistered securities and investment schemes, and have defrauded investors through material misstatements around supposed controls for manipulative trading activity, such as wash trading, on the Binance platforms.

The complaint echoes some of the allegations made by the CFTC in a March lawsuit, including that Binance.US was primarily a front for Binance's international platform that was used to try to distract US regulators. However, it also goes farther by adding allegations around Binance's lack of controls around market manipulation, which the SEC alleges contradict public statements by Binance that they had sophisticated programs to prevent wash trading and other manipulative actions. The SEC even claims that the CZ-owned and -operated market maker Sigma Chain was engaged in substantial wash trading on the platform.

The SEC lawsuit was also a bit of a bombshell in its naming of some major cryptocurrencies as securities: SOL, ADA, MATIC, FIL, ATOM, SAND, MANA, ALGO, AXS, and COTI. These are the crypto assets associated, respectively, with the Solana, Cardano, Polygon, Filecoin,[d] Cosmos, The Sandbox, Decentraland, Algorand, Axie Infinity, and Coti projects.