Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Strictly speaking it hasn’t operated in the US since 2019, but the SEC, America’s fiercest finance regulator, is suing the company and its Chinese founder, Changpeng Zhao, anyway for “enriching themselves by billions of US dollars while placing investors’ assets at significant risk”. The regulator says Binance earned more than $11 billion between 2018 and 2021, mainly in transaction fees, subverting its own controls to let US customers go on using its platform. There are 13 charges in all, including claims that Binance operated unregistered exchanges, broker-dealers and clearing agencies. This might have been the cue for an almighty argument about freedom versus regulation in a space created to be unregulated, but for the slow implosion of the cryptocurrencies Binance was set up to trade.
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