SEC Clampdown Spurs $4B Deposit Flight From Binance, Coinbase and Binance.US

The exchanges, targeted by the SEC for violating federal securities laws, have suffered a significant wave of user withdrawals but managed to process transactions in an orderly fashion so far.

AccessTimeIconJun 9, 2023 at 9:54 p.m. UTC
Updated Jun 12, 2023 at 3:20 p.m. UTC

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuits against Binance, Binance.US and Coinbase have spurred the exodus of some $4 billion of deposits from the crypto exchange giants, according to blockchain data.

The three exchanges suffered a combined net outflow of $3.1 billion via the Ethereum network and $864 million in bitcoin (BTC) between Monday and Thursday, data from blockchain analytics firms Nansen and Glassnode shows. Net outflow means withdrawals outpaced incoming deposits.

The exchanges processed withdrawals in an orderly fashion through the week.

The SEC first filed a lawsuit Monday against Binance, its U.S.-based entity Binance.US and chief executive Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, for a slew of federal securities law violations. Then, the agency sued Coinbase on Tuesday for offering unregistered securities to the public.

The actions unsettled the cryptocurrency market, with tokens the SEC characterized as securities in the suits, including Binance’s BNB, Cardano’s ADA and Polygon’s MATIC tumbling the most during the week. The SEC is seeking to freeze assets on Binance.US, which caused BTC and ether (ETH) to trade at a significant premium for a period compared to other platforms, as traders and market makers retreat from the platform.

Crypto traders, spooked by the regulatory clampdown, took their funds en masse from the exchanges targeted by the SEC.

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, experienced a $2 billion net outflow on the Ethereum blockchain over the course of four days, Nansen data shows. The metric includes ETH and all Ethereum-based tokens.

BTC withdrawals also outpaced deposits by some $838 million (31,868 BTC) during this period, according to Glassnode data.

Wednesday’s net outflow of 13,953 BTC was the largest daily drawdown since last December, when a botched reserve report shook investors confidence – already shaky after the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s rival exchange FTX – in the exchange.

While this week’s outflows were significant, they represent only about 5% of all assets on the exchange, according to Binance’s crypto wallets.

Coinbase endured $1 billion of net outflows via Ethereum from Monday to Thursday, according to Nansen. BTC outflows totaled $25 million, per Glassnode.

Binance.US net outflows totaled $75 million on Ethereum, Nansen data shows. Glassnode does not track the platform.

The U.S.-based exchange said on Friday that users should withdraw USD as soon as possible following the SEC’s "extremely aggressive and intimidating tactics" against the company. The platform has suspended U.S. dollar deposits and will delist USD trading pairs shortly, while it temporarily transitions to a crypto-only exchange.

This article was written and edited by CoinDesk journalists with the sole purpose of informing the reader with accurate information. If you click on a link from Glassnode, CoinDesk may earn a commission. For more, see our Ethics Policy.

Edited by James Rubin.


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Krisztian  Sandor

Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.