Snowstorm Forces Adjournment of Binance vs SEC Case

As storm blankets Washington, Binance gets one-day reprieve from lawsuit brought by SEC last year accusing exchange of illegal token trades.

Key Insights

  • Binance’s court hearing with SEC was postponed to Monday due to D.C. winter storm after week of crypto firms facing regulators.
  • Binance argues SEC lacks authority over crypto tokens traded on its exchange, as Coinbase also disputes assets deemed securities.
  • Cases represent clashes over applying decades-old laws to crypto, even as firms ink deals like Binance’s $4.3 billion sanctions violation settlement.

WASHINGTON – A major winter storm postponed the next round of Binance cryptocurrency exchange’s legal fight with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission until Monday, as the two sides argued over whether tokens traded on the platform count as securities.

The regulator in June accused Binance, the world’s largest crypto bourse, and former chief executive Changpeng Zhao of enabling unlawful token trades and operating an unregistered exchange accessible to American investors.

But Binance contends the SEC lacked sufficient authority over crypto assets and had not intervened in the market for years until launching its suit last summer.

For more than a decade after Bitcoin launched, the SEC stood idle as and several other crypto platforms grew in plain sight, the company argued in a December filing, saying the watchdog was on the sidelines for good reason.

The hearing delay due to snow in Washington, D.C. comes after Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong earlier this week told another federal judge that most tokens on his exchange differed from traditional securities.

Judge Katherine Polk Failla questioned whether an overly expansive definition by the SEC could sweep up assets like collectibles that are not securities. The regulator contends Coinbase let Americans trade digital asset securities without permission.

Both cases represent attempts to apply decades-old laws to a fast-moving crypto industry struggling with legal uncertainty. The disputes center on interpreting what assets qualify as securities amid lingering regulatory gaps in digital asset oversight.

Zhao last year paid $50 million personally to settle separate criminal charges that subsidiary Binance processed transactions tied to terrorism, drugs, and other illegal activity. The company agreed to a $4.3 billion settlement and Zhao has since stepped down as CEO.

While not part of the D.C. case, the deal represented a turning point as global regulators pressure crypto firms over lax compliance controls, even as the industry urges updated rules it says match digital assets’ unique risks.

Samson Ononeme

Meet Samson Ononeme, a dynamic writer, editor, and CEO of With a passion for words and a sharp business acumen, Samson captivates readers with captivating storytelling and delivers insightful market analysis. He is a trailblazer in the finance industry, empowering individuals with knowledge and shaping the narrative of money. Get ready to be inspired by his literary prowess and entrepreneurial leadership.

Leave a Reply