Prominent lawyer and pro-XRP advocate, John Deaton, has recently weighed in on the ongoing regulatory crackdown against the cryptocurrency industry, specifically about the recent complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Binance.
Deaton has stated that there are rumors and reports that the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) may file criminal charges against Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), in addition to the civil charges already filed by the SEC on Monday for allegedly breaking US securities rules.
DOJ Rumored To File Criminal Charges Against Binance
Deaton believes that the DOJ may file criminal charges against Binance and CZ due to the recent injunction filed against the exchange by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission CFTC.
Related Reading: Top Defense Lawyers Rally For Coinbase And Binance In SEC Lawsuits
He also suggests that the SEC’s complaint against Binance is part of a larger effort by SEC Chairman Gary Gensler to claim “litigation dibs” and front-run the DOJ’s potential criminal charges. According to Deaton, Gensler has “ruthless ambition” and the criminal charges would fit the current administration’s narrative against crypto.
Deaton goes on to argue that the ongoing regulatory crackdown against the cryptocurrency industry, including the recent complaints against Binance and Ripple, will be a major issue in the 2024 presidential election.
Furthermore, he suggests that the current administration’s “war against innovation” and its stance on cryptocurrency will be a key factor in the election, particularly given the growing popularity and mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Binance.US Pushes Back Against SEC’s Grandstanding
In the same vein, Binance.US, the US-based subsidiary of the global cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has responded to the recent complaint filed against them by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The exchange has stated that the SEC’s allegations are baseless and represent legal maneuvering rather than genuine concern for the safety of their customers and their assets.
According to Binance.US, the SEC’s true interest lies in political grandstanding and land grabbing, rather than in protecting consumers or allowing businesses to thrive in the US. The exchange argues that the SEC has shown this in bringing numerous cases against cryptocurrency companies and that their latest filing is just another example of this behavior.
Despite the SEC’s allegations, Binance.US has assured its customers that all of their assets remain safe and secure and that deposits and withdrawals are functioning as usual. The requested order by the SEC does not seek to freeze customer assets, and the exchange has reiterated that their customers’ funds are not at risk.
Furthermore, Binance.US has stated that they will be defending themselves in court against the SEC’s allegations. They remain confident that their operations are fully compliant with all applicable laws and regulations, and that the SEC’s case against them is without merit.
The potential criminal charges against the world’s largest exchange and CZ, if filed, would represent a significant escalation in the regulatory crackdown against the cryptocurrency industry. However, it remains to be seen whether the DOJ will follow through with these charges, and how the industry will respond if they do.
Featured image from Unsplash, chart from TradingView.com