Binance Just The Start: CFTC’s Dire Message To Crypto Industry

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Following a rigorous investigation and increased regulatory scrutiny directed at Binance, the leading cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, hopes for stability in the financial sector were high within the crypto community. 

The recent settlement between Binance and the US Department of Justice (DOJ), which involved CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) pleading guilty to charges, was seen as a potential turning point and a source of relief for the overall market. 

However, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has made it clear that the Binance settlement is merely the first step in their “aggressive pursuit” of the entire crypto industry.

No Safe Haven For Crypto Exchanges 

According to a Business Insider report, CFTC Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero emphasized that “there are no pirate ships in US markets” and stressed that access to US customers is a privilege, not a right. 

Per the report, the CFTC intends to maintain its unwavering pursuit of crypto exchanges found to violate trade laws. Commissioner Romero explicitly stated that the CFTC would not tolerate the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) or any other tactics aimed at circumventing Know Your Customer (KYC) rules, including “deceptive pop-up questions” seeking to evade jurisdiction.

CFTC Commissioner Caroline D. Pham echoed Romero’s sentiments, emphasizing that the CFTC’s jurisdiction is not confined by borders. Pham declared it should be “unequivocally clear” that the CFTC will continue its relentless pursuit of non-US entities involved in alleged illicit activities within the cryptocurrency space. 

Binance CEO’s Defense Advocates For Combined Home Detention And Incarceration

In a recent court filing, the defense team representing Changpeng Zhao recommended a combined house arrest and incarceration as an alternative for the former Binance CEO. CZ’s legal team emphasized his willingness to take full responsibility for his actions

Notably, CZ’s defense team highlighted several key factors to support their recommendation for combined home detention and incarceration. They emphasized that CZ is a public figure with no criminal record, making him unlikely to flee and face severe penalties if caught. 

The legal team also pointed out that the former Binance CEO voluntarily surrendered himself and expressed his intent to resolve the case, demonstrating his commitment to cooperating with the authorities.

Per the filing, Judge Tsuchida carefully considered the defense’s arguments and the circumstances surrounding CZ’s case. The judge acknowledged CZ’s voluntary surrender as a significant factor, noting that it speaks volumes about his willingness to resolve the matter rather than evade it. 

Judge Tsuchida imposed specific bail conditions on CZ as part of the release order. These conditions required CZ to post a $175 million personal recognizance bond, backed by two guarantors who pledged cash amounts of $100,000 and $250,000, respectively. 

CZ’s Legal Team Counters Flight Risk Allegations

The US government motioned to keep CZ in the United States between his plea and sentencing, citing concerns that he may not appear for sentencing. However, CZ’s legal team refuted this suggestion, stating that foreign citizenship alone should not be equated with flight risk. 

They highlighted previous legal precedents emphasizing citizenship should not be a determining factor in assessing flight risk. The defense argued that CZ’s UAE citizenship is not a basis for suspicion, as he took it as an honor and had no intention of leveraging it for personal gain or favors.

As the legal proceedings continue against Binance, CZ’s defense team has advocated for combined home detention and incarceration as an alternative to jailing him. The defense highlights CZ’s voluntary surrender, willingness to take responsibility, and the substantial bail package proposed as evidence of his commitment to resolving the case. 

BNB’s sideways price action on the 1-D chart. Source: BNBUSDT on

Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from 

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