Binance.​US says user funds ‘remain safe’ amid SEC attempt to freeze assets

The U.S.-based exchange said it is “fully operational” and called the Securities and Exchange Commission’s motion “unwarranted.”

Crypto exchange Binance.US has attempted to quell possible unrest from its users following a motion from the United States securities regulator seeking to freeze its assets “on an expedited basis.”

In a June 6 tweet, Binance.US reiterated that “user assets remain safe and secure” and added the platform “continues to be fully operational with deposits and withdrawals functioning as normal.”

Earlier on June 6, the SEC filed an emergency motion in the District of Columbia U.S. District Court asking for a temporary restraining order against Binance, Binance.US and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ), requesting eight actions.

This afternoon, the SEC filed a motion seeking a TRO and preliminary injunction against attempting to, amongst other things, freeze corporate assets. User assets remain safe and secure and the platform continues to be fully…

— Binance.US (@BinanceUS) June 6, 2023

The requested actions include the freezing of the assets of Binance.US and the repatriation of fiat and cryptocurrency held by U.S. customers or for the benefit of U.S. customers. In addition, the motion prohibits the defendants from destroying, altering or concealing records and imposes other sets of conditions on discovery.

Some in the crypto community shared concerns that the restraining order could spark a “bank run” on the exchange. 

The emergency motion from the SEC is not expected to directly impact the customers’ ability to withdraw, and will still require a district judge’s sign-off to go ahead.

Excerpt from the temporary restraining order by the SEC. Source: CourtListener

Binance.US said the injunction was “unwarranted,” claiming it was filed as part of a ploy to gain an advantage in litigation after the exchange spent the past week in dialogue with the SEC. Binance.US stated:

“The filing of the preliminary injunction is unwarranted and based more on the SEC Staff obtaining an advantage in litigation versus genuine concern about the safety of customer assets.”

“Despite the information the company has provided to ensure SEC Staff of the safety of customer assets, the Staff has nonetheless decided to file the motion seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction,” Binance.US said, adding:

”While we are disappointed by this action, we look forward to defending ourselves in court.”

Cointelegraph contacted tBinance.US for further comment but did not receive an immediate response. 

Related: SEC files motion for restraining order against Binance

The order comes the same day Coinbase was sued by the SEC for allegedly offering unregistered securities.

The SEC lawsuit alleges that Coinbase has never registered as a broker, national securities exchange or clearing agency, evading the disclosure scheme for securities markets, and has been operating as an unregistered security broker since 2019. The suit bears similarities to the one brought against Binance on June 5. 

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