SEC Sanctions Binance & Sues Coinbase. Are We Screwed?
Read This Before Freaking Out
GM DOers! 🚀
When we saw this post on Monday we thought it came from a CT shitposter. I mean… Would the almighty SEC, tweet out a picture of a quote that include the words: fucking and bro? 😂
I couldn’t believe it myself. But I then forgot about it after waking up to a second GM from the SEC:
We read SEC’s allegations against the world’s 2 largest crypto exchanges. Some are concerning, some are confusing and others are over the top.
We’ll break it all down in just a second… But first, I just want to calm everyone down. 😌
While the charges and allegations against Binance are very serious (FTX vibes), this is all short-term FUD and it’ll likely take YEARS until any solid decision is made. 🔨
As for Coinbase, it seems like the SEC just wants to stall.
And by the time any decision is taken for either exchange, Bitcoin and Ethereum will probably see new ATHs and we’ll all be alright. 😎
Remember, the SEC can regulate centralized companies; it can’t regulate decentralized protocols and assets! (That’s the whole idea) 🔥
So yes, these regulatory concerns are definitely a worry short-term, but ultimately, crypto will remain and continue to flourish (with or without the USA).
With all of that said, I have a question for you: On a scale from 0-10, how concerned are you about the SEC’s actions?
Respond to this email with your answer! (10 represents highest concern).
Now, let’s get into why the SEC sued Coinbase, the 13 SEC charges against CZ’s empire, Binance’s response, a breakdown of what’s true and what’s not, and some actionable advice for you as an investor and builder.
Let’s roll ⏬
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The SEC Sues Coinbase 🛡️
‘You violated our laws for years’ – that’s the basis of the SEC's suit against Coinbase.
Yet, in April 2021, the SEC let Coinbase do an IPO (aka go public on the stock exchange). Normally, the SEC must review, do their due diligence and then approve a public listing.
Clearly, they didn’t do their homework (reminds me of Raul’s investments in crypto).
This all looks like the SEC is trying to buy some time. They refuse to provide regulatory clarity and then sue the biggest exchanges for violating laws that barely exist.
Most of the laws that dictate if a token is a security were written 50-70 years ago. That’s what I mean with ‘barely exist’. They’re ancient and don’t apply today!
So this all looks like the SEC is stalling. But it’s unclear what they’re trying to buy time for.
Charles Hoskinson (founder of Cardano) said: “The end goal is a agenda based CBDC partnered with a handful of massive banks and end-to-end control over every aspect of your financial life.“
But for now, it’s all speculation. The bottom-line is that the SEC is clearly delusional (when it comes to this Coinbase suit).
But what about Binance?
The 13 SEC Charges Against Binance 🧑⚖️
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has just made some serious claims against Binance, BAM Trading Services Inc. (the company behind Binance US), and Binance's creator, Changpeng Zhao.
To break it down for you, here's a user-friendly take on what the SEC's press release tells us:
💰 Commingling customer assets or diverting customer assets to Sigma Chain: Zhao and Binance are accused of exercising control of the platforms’ customers’ assets, permitting them to mix customer assets or divert customer assets as they please, including to an entity Zhao owned and controlled called Sigma Chain.
🏛️ Operating unregistered national securities exchanges: Binance and BAM Trading are accused of running these exchanges without proper registration, potentially creating risks for investors.
🪙 Unregistered offer and sale of Binance’s own crypto assets (BNB, BUSD) and crypto-lending products (Simple Earn, BNB Vault): Binance and BAM Trading are charged with offering and selling crypto assets, including Binance's own exchange token (BNB) and stablecoin (BUSD), without proper registration and is alleged to have offered crypto-lending products to the public without going through the necessary registration process.
🎮 Secretly controlling the Binance.US platform’s operations: Zhao and Binance are alleged to have falsely claimed that Binance.US was created as a separate, independent trading platform for U.S. investors, when in reality, they maintained substantial involvement and control over its operations.
📈 Manipulative trading to inflate trading volume: The SEC alleges that Sigma Chain engaged in manipulative trading that artificially inflated the platform’s trading volume, leading to distorted price information and trading patterns.
Essentially, these folks are in trouble for bending the rules. They didn't register where needed, and they might've duped customers by puffing up their platform's security.
They're also under fire for secretly letting big U.S. clients trade, and they might've played hide-and-seek with heaps of investor cash.
What’s their response?
Binance’s Response 🥊
Binance was quick to respond in a press release that you can read here. But I’ll try to give you a TL;DR.
😔 Binance is disappointed that the SEC filed a complaint against them, as they have actively cooperated with the SEC's investigations and made efforts to answer their questions and address their concerns.
⚔️ They believe the SEC's allegations shouldn't be the subject of an enforcement action and plan to defend their platform vigorously.
📚 Binance criticizes the SEC for not providing clear guidance to the digital asset industry, accusing it of regulating through enforcement and litigation instead of a thoughtful approach that considers the complexity of the technology.
🌎 They express concern that the SEC's actions could undermine America's role as a global hub for financial innovation and leadership, as they argue that regulation through enforcement isn't the best way forward for a largely undeveloped area of law like digital assets.
🔐 Binance refutes any allegations that user assets on the Binance.US platform have been at risk, insisting that all assets on Binance and its affiliate platforms, including Binance.US, are safe and secure.
🎯 They suggest that the SEC's actions seem more focused on claiming jurisdiction from other regulators, making headlines, and not prioritizing the protection of investors.
🤝 Despite the SEC's actions, Binance is committed to cooperating with regulators and policymakers worldwide and continues to promote a regulatory framework that fosters innovation while ensuring consumer protections.
🥊 Binance states they will fight the SEC's alleged overreach to the full extent of the law, and they stand with digital asset market participants in the U.S. against this perceived overreach.
🛡️ They will continue to work with industry partners to defend against what they see as misguided lawsuits and maintain their efforts to provide a safe and trusted platform for users, holding true to their core value of furthering the freedom of money.
🤝 Thanks to our trusted exchange partner, BYDFi.
We believe that we’re in the early stages of a bull run and there’s no better time to buy crypto. This is when you should be practising monthly dollar cost averaging into strong network tokens like Ethereum and Bitcoin. 💪
And if you’re buying it’s important to do so with a licensed and reputable exchange. That’s why we recommend using BYDFi. 🚀
What’s True And What’s Not? 🤷
There are three main points of the 13 Binance allegations that need to be covered. Read this before you lose your shit! 🙂
1. Binance functioning unlawfully as a securities market
What’s a security? That’s a more commonly asked question than ‘What is a woman?’.
And to be honest: We don’t know. Part of why we don’t know is the SEC's lack of clear regulation. The same thing that Coinbase is struggling with, as we wrote here.
Therefore, debating this now is pointless, so we won’t do it! Instead, we’ll focus on what the SEC deems as a security under Binance:
The BNB token – Stating that Binance held an ICO for BNB to raise funds that were used to improve the Binance exchange. If that’s true, then this would be a security
Staking service – This is also understandable. Binance takes users’ money and gives a % fee in the form of a reward. A few weeks back, Coinbase received a Wells Notice from the SEC on the same topic. Therefore, it’s not a surprise that Binance is charged with the same thing.
BUSD – Not sure how the SEC sees this as a security. BUSD is minted 1:1 by Paxos, a regulated and registered company. Though, in February, Paxos did say they wanted to stop minting BUSD amid regulatory worries.
All of the above are fair points made by the SEC. While we can’t be sure that the BNB token, Binance’s staking service and BUSD are all securities, we can see why these are investigated.
However, besides that, what’s the most concerning is the fact that in 2018, Binance’s Chief Compliance Officer stated that: “We are operating as a fucking unlicensed securities exchange in the USA, bro!”
And that is concerning… If the man that’s supposed to keep Binance from acting as an unlicensed securities exchange says that, something’s off.
Onto the 2nd point:
2. Offering unregistered crypto assets
‘Crypto is a security’ – this was the main FUD of the last few years. Shut up... We don’t want to hear it anymore!
Especially not from a dude that taught about ‘75% of the crypto market not being a security EVEN in the US’ just a few years ago (watch the video below when you have some time).
In the SEC’s charge, the following cryptocurrencies were listed as securities.
That was then used to charge Binance with ‘offering unregistered crypto assets’.
It was also then used to sue Coinbase, for listing these tokens.
It’s crazy that a man and his agency can, with a snap of a finger, decide this overnight, based on ancient laws that don’t apply today…
We believe that this is BS and that most of the tokens mentioned by the SEC won’t be classified as securities when clarity arrives. We could be wrong though.
3. Commingling funds
Now… The most concerning allegation against Binance: commingling funds, which basically refers to when an exchange quietly dips into users' funds for other purposes.
It’s like you have a cookie jar filled with cookies that belong to everyone in the house. But then, one sneaky housemate secretly starts using cookies from the jar to trade for candy bars without telling anyone. Not cool.
That’s what CZ is accused of. His other entities: Sigma Chain & Merit Peak were allegedly used to receive money from Binance, money that was used to:
Pump volumes on the exchange – this with the goal to make it look like Binance is thriving.
Personal use – Sigma Chain’s bank account allegedly bought a $11M yacht. Did that money come from Binance? Maybe.
If this is true, then this is no different from what SBF did with FTX.
To put more gas on the fire, Brian Brooks (former Binance U.S. CEO) said: "I realized, huh, I'm not actually the one running this company, and the mission that I believe I signed up for isn't the mission. And as soon as I realized that, I left."
Brian Brooks also stated he had particular worries about what Merit Peak and Sigma Chain were doing on the Binance.US platform, saying: "Our customers couldn't, you know, clear orders without the presence of those makers on our platform, I thought that was a real problem."
That indicates that CZ’s role was also as a market maker, which (if not obvious) is illegal.
What Does This Mean For You As An Investor or Builder? 💰
This is a lot to take in… I know! That’s why we have a PRO Advice section. We want you to walk away with a sense of confidence.
One of the biggest regulatory agencies in the US (and therefore the world) is coming for the biggest industry players that are facilitating crypto purchases.
Without exchanges, it would be significantly harder for 90% of people to onboard into crypto and then onto web3, because exchanges offer a really smooth onboarding ramp from FIAT to crypto. So this is concerning.
But… You know the saying: When there’s blood is the market, you need to capitalize on the opportunity.
So we’re here to share actionable information for our PRO Builders and Investors so you can do just that. Let’s go 👇