U.S. Regulator CFTC Investigates Binance

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In Brief
  • Binance is reportedly under investigation by U.S. CFTC.

  • Concerns with derivatives trades carried out by U.S. residents.

  • Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volumes.

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The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is reportedly investigating Binance over U.S. resident’s trades.

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As reported by Bloomberg, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is currently investigating Binance over concerns that U.S. residents made crypto derivatives trades that violate U.S. rules. Currently, it is the largest cryptocurrency trading exchange in the world by trade volumes.

Binance Hasn’t Been Accused of Wrongdoing

CFTC started this investigation based on an anonymous tip. Till now, Binance Holding Ltd. has not been charged officially with any wrongdoing whatsoever. The CFTC is currently focusing on whether there were trades done by U.S. residents that weren’t allowed by the regulator in charge.

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CFTC recently claimed regulatory jurisdiction over cryptocurrencies as it considers digital currencies like bitcoin and ethereum to be commodities instead of currencies. After the news of this investigation, the exchange’s native token, binance coin (BNB), has dropped more than 6% after having a healthy trading spike yesterday. This is indicative of the quickly changing perceptions of crypto investors towards a particular asset.

BNB Chart (12th March) – Source: CoinMarketCap

U.S. Regulators Clamp Down

This is not the first incident of U.S. regulators clamping down on the cryptocurrency industry. Recently, Tether and Bitfinex were jointly fined by the U.S. Attorney General’s office for over $18.5 million for misrepresentation of funds.

Earlier in October last year, the CFTC also sued BitMEX for failing to register as a broker and “failing to implement required anti-money laundering procedures.” The CFTC’s regulations also led to Coinbase ending all margin trading in November last year.

This probe into Binance’s trading activities could be the most prominent case of CFTC cracking down on crypto entities ever. This is mainly due to the size of Binance as an exchange and the high media presence that they have with their CEO, Changpeng Zhao, appearing in many media interviews on television and internet sites alike.

One of the other high-profile cases is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) vs. Ripple (XRP). Here the SEC considers XRP to be unregistered security instead of a digital token for the payment network. The case continues while the SEC gets caught up in its own maze.

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Anirudh works in the financial markets along with being a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast. He has a Master’s degree in Finance. Apart from work, he is a music connoisseur and likes to play the drums.

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