Binance Again Seeks to Nix ‘Incendiary’ CFTC Suit

U.S. law “does not control the world,” said a court filing by the world’s biggest crypto exchange as the regulatory heat intensifies.

AccessTimeIconOct 24, 2023 at 9:58 a.m. UTC
Updated Apr 9, 2024 at 11:14 p.m. UTC

Binance renewed its push to fend off charges from U.S. commodity regulators on Monday, as the world’s biggest crypto exchange faces increasing heat from enforcers.

The exchange says the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is trying to police the world by taking action against a company, which on paper has sought to avoid U.S. business.

“The CFTC relies on new and broad arguments that would allow it to regulate any activity in cryptocurrency (or other assets) related to a derivatives product anywhere on the globe,” said a filing made by Binance in an Illinois court late Monday.

“U.S. law governs domestically but does not control the world. Congress did not make the CFTC the world’s derivatives police,” Binance’s filing said, adding that the agency’s complaint “resorts to incendiary language” against Binance and Zhao.

In March, the CFTC charged Binance with knowingly offering unregistered crypto derivatives. In a subsequent Sept. 22 filing, the agency said Zhao had “deliberately targeted” the U.S. market and that, in any case, U.S. commodities law explicitly governs foreign conduct.

“Binance has at all times embraced a wink-and-nod corporate ethos toward getting U.S. customers through ‘creative means’,” the September filing said, citing industry events such as a Binance-hosted Grammy party in Las Vegas.

“Binance and Zhao’s fetish for secrecy and refusal to comply with regulatory requirements have made Binance a haven for dark net users, criminals and terrorists that wish to move their assets around the globe,” the regulator’s filing added.

Binance says its U.S. domestic business is handled by a separate entity, Binance.US. Both companies are also seeking to toss a suit from another federal regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and there have also been rumors of a probe by the Department of Justice.

Edited by Sandali Handagama.


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Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.