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SEC Seeks Binance.US Asset Freeze, Gensler's 2019 Advisory Role Emerges

SEC requests Binance freeze, Cathie doubles down on Coinbase, Gopax and the Philippines both wait for the dust to settle, and LV makes NFTs with LV price tags

June 8, 2023

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The SEC drama continues to unfold. Just one day after suing Coinbase and two days after suing Binance, the US regulator has requested for Binance.US's assets to be frozen.

In a court filing, the SEC sought to freeze assets linked to BAM Management US Holdings and BAM Trading Services, the holding and operating firms for Binance.US. Its request is "necessary on an expedited basis to ensure the safety of customer assets and prevent the dissipation of available assets," the regulator said, expressing concern about Binance's access to Binance.US funds and the custody and control of customer assets.

On Monday, the SEC sued Binance, accusing the exchange of engaging in "an extensive web of deception, conflicts of interest, lack of disclosure, and calculated evasion of the law."

Binance vs. SEC: A ‘Surprise’ That Everyone Saw Coming
This all paints a curious picture, doesn’t it? Is this a targeted attack on crypto, or is the SEC just taking out the big guns one by one? Hard to say. But one thing’s clear: the era of crypto wild west might just be sunsetting.

If approved by the court, Binance must ensure that customer funds can only be accessed by Binance.US within five days. Within 30 days, all customer assets will be moved to new wallets exclusively accessible by Binance.US.

CZ clarified on Twitter that the ruling would only affect Binance.US, not Binance.com.

The plot further thickens as news broke of Binance lawyers alleging that SEC Chair Gary Gensler offered to serve as an advisor to the exchange in 2019.

Attorneys from Binance's law firms Gibson Dunn and Latham & Watkins made the claim in documents submitted to the SEC on Wednesday. Gensler allegedly had multiple conversations with Binance executives and CZ in March 2019 and even had lunch with CZ in Japan later that month.

Meanwhile:

  • Loyal readers of Blockhead's Daily Digest will be aware that Coinbase's stock price plummeted almost 16% in pre-market trading yesterday after the SEC filed its lawsuit against the exchange. For some, a regulatory lawsuit would signal bad news. Not for Cathie Wood. Wood's firm ARK Invest added 400,000 shares or $21 million worth of Coinbase stock on Tuesday following the crash. At the time of writing, its share price is up 3.2%. Good on you Cathie.
  • The Binance-SEC drama is proving too much for some, especially the South Korean Financial Services Commission, which has delayed Binance's acquisition of crypto exchange Gopax in light of its new lawsuit. Binance announced the deal in February and its intentions to cover the bad debt Gopax and its product Gopay incurred following FTX's collapse.  
  • With all this Coinbase/Binance/SEC drama, the spotlight on FTX seems to have faded. Not for the Philippines. According to local media, authorities have delayed the launch of its digital asset regulations due to concerns surrounding FTX's collapse. The regulator, which planned to reveal its framework last year, will require more time to study the factors leading to the fall of the SBF empire. SEC Chair Emilio Aquino said the rules could be launched before year-end.  
  • Louis Vuitton is venturing into NFTs. At €39,000 a pop, the Via Treasure Trunks NFTs will be available for registration on 8 June in select countries and available for purchase on 16 June. Customers will receive a physical replica of their digital trunk and will gain access to future LV products and immersive events. LV said it plans to release limited products and experiences throughout. the year. The luxury fashion powerhouse delved into the metaverse in 2021 with its mobile game Louis the Game, which hid 30 embedded NFTs.

See ya tomorrow!

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