Crypto exchange Binance can’t seem to catch a break from regulators in any corner of the world.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) raided the offices of Binance on Tuesday, according to a report by Bloomberg. Binance is the world’s largest crypto exchange, and the search is just one bump in a litany of setbacks over the past year.
While ASIC could not confirm or deny the search to Bloomberg, anonymous sources cited that the search was part of an ongoing investigation into Binance’s defunct Australian derivatives business. Binance Australia said in a statement that it’s “cooperating with local authorities” and is “focused on meeting local regulatory standards in order to serve our users in Australia in a fully compliant manner”.
ASIC cancelled Binance Australia’s derivatives license in April. The investigation followed an incident where Binance incorrectly categorized 500 users as “wholesale investors,” resulting in the closure of their derivative positions.
In May, Binance Australia announced that it would no longer support PayID AUD deposits and bank transfers due to issues with its third-party payment provider.
In a much bigger lawsuit in the US, Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) were sued by the US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) last month. The SEC accused Binance and CZ of 13 charges including mishandling customers’ funds, misleading investors, and blatant disregard of securities laws in the country. Money laundering was one of the more serious charges alleged against the exchange.
On June 16, the exchange narrowly avoided an asset freeze after reaching an agreement with the SEC.
Changpeng Zhao, like Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong, has been a vocal opponent of the regulatory hostility directed toward crypto providers since the collapse of FTX last year.
Referring to the SEC ordeal, he tweeted: “This fight has damaged our business and our reputation but not our fighting spirit or our resolve to defend ourselves against unwarranted charges and “regulation by enforcement” tactics that do not belong in our system of justice.”
Binance has recently retreated from the UK, the Netherlands and Cyprus.
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