June 11, 2023 -WASHINGTON (AP) — First came the crypto winter, then the alleged fraud wrought by FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, and now the lawsuits.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed lawsuits last week against the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance and Coinbase, deepening tensions between the government and a volatile industry that has been marred by scandals and market meltdowns.
Binance and Coinbase are both alleged to have violated the law by operating as securities exchanges without registering their businesses with the SEC. Binance faces additional charges, along with its CEO, of diverting customer funds to a separate business, among other accusations. Most recently, the SEC asked a federal judge to freeze the assets of Binance’s U.S. platform.
The lawsuits are the latest in an ongoing tussle between government officials who describe the crypto industry as the “ Wild West,” and creators of digital assets who seek to legitimize cryptocurrency as a currency of the future.