In a major development, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to make public some confidential documents in its ongoing case against Binance US.
The release comes at the SEC’s own request and with the consent of both parties involved in the case. This development adds another layer to the SEC’s scrutiny of crypto regulation and its actions against Binance.
Binance US and the SEC Agree to Unseal Documents
The legal tussle between the SEC and Binance US took an important turn today as District of Columbia District Court Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui approved the SEC’s motion to unseal certain documents. These documents, among other things, pertain to a “Motion to Compel and For Other Relief” and an “Opposition to Binance US’ Motion for a Protective Order.”
Both parties agreed to the unsealing of many documents that the SEC had submitted last month. The next hearing for this case, presided over by Magistrate Judge Faruqui, is scheduled for September 18.
Judge Faruqui’s order lists 18 sealed documents and another nine that are partially sealed or redacted. Binance US and any third party asserting confidentiality on these documents will have a seven-day window to argue against the unsealing. The SEC will then have another seven days to respond to these claims.
The specified documents were filed on August 28 and sparked discussions about their possible connection to a U.S.Department of Justice investigation of Binance. These partially sealed documents comprise 117 pages, including internal communications within Binance US, emails, and SEC court filings.
Unanswered Questions and Ongoing Litigation
Not all sealed documents in the case against Binance US are part of this unsealing order. For instance, a proposed order filed by BAM, the holding company of Binance US, on September 11, was not mentioned in the order. The proposed order, along with the SEC’s opposing document and eight other exhibits, remains sealed.
The initial SEC case against Binance US, the broader Binance entity, and CEO Changpeng Zhao was filed in June. The core issue revolves around allegations of operating unregistered securities and other questionable practices, including wash sales. In August, Binance US had requested a protective order against the SEC.
While the SEC’s move to unseal documents sheds light on its case against Binance US, it also prompts broader questions about the stance of regulatory bodies on crypto regulation. It is an ongoing area of focus for authorities, as they try to find a balance between adopting cryptocurrency and ensuring market integrity.
The SEC’s actions against Binance may shape how crypto assets are regulated in the United States with the case serving as precedent for how crypto entities approach the intricate web of U.S. regulations.
As both sides prepare for the next stage of the legal battle, the crypto community will be watching closely. While this development does not provide all the answers, it does offer a more transparent view of the SEC’s case against Binance US.