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SEC Scrutinizing Crypto Exchange Binance US — Chair Gensler Stresses ‘Basic Investor Protection’

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reportedly scrutinizing the U.S. arm of cryptocurrency exchange Binance over trading firms with links to Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler emphasizes the need for “basic investor protection” in the crypto space.

Binance US Probed by SEC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reportedly probing the U.S. arm of the cryptocurrency exchange Binance (Binance US).

The securities watchdog is examining the relationship between Binance US and two trading firms with ties to Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The two firms are Sigma Chain AG and Merit Peak Ltd. They act as market makers that trade cryptocurrencies on the Binance US exchange.

However, the SEC alleges that Binance US did not disclose to its customers the links between the exchange and the two trading firms, the people say, adding that the SEC has requested information about the two companies from Binance US.

On Wednesday, Fox Business interviewed SEC Chairman Gary Gensler about the Binance US news and the SEC’s efforts to regulate the crypto space. While the SEC chief did not specifically comment on the Binance US probe, he cited “basic investor protection” as the key driver for all SEC actions.

Chair Gensler detailed:

Most of the activity in this asset class, $2 trillion, is happening on centralized exchanges or lending platforms.

He proceeded to talk about the enforcement action taken against cryptocurrency lender Blockfi. The company has agreed to pay $100 million to settle charges with the SEC and state regulators.

Gensler emphasized the importance of ensuring “basic investor protection — protection against fraud and manipulation.” He reiterated that many of the tokens on crypto exchange platforms may be securities.

What do you think about the SEC probing Binance US? Let us know in the comments section below.

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