CFTC Says Access To US Customers Is a “Privilege” In Wake of Binance Case

In a statement published on Tuesday regarding the resolution of the Binance case, CFTC Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero declared, “There are no pirate ships in US markets. Access to US customers is a privilege, not a right.”
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The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission is showing no signs of letting up in its battle against crypto firms.

In a statement published on Tuesday regarding the resolution of the Binance case, CFTC Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero declared, “There are no pirate ships in US markets. Access to US customers is a privilege, not a right.”

Romero added that the CFTC’s case against former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and the crypto exchange was just the beginning, and that her Commission would continue to “aggressively go after crypto platforms operating in U.S. markets that seek to evade the CFTC’s customer protection regime.”

Earlier this week, Zhao agreed to pay $50 million in fines after pleading guilty to violating money laundering rules. Binance, the crypto exchange he co-founded in July 2017, was hit with a $4.3 billion fine for noncompliance and money laundering offenses – the largest fine in crypto history.

The CFTC is set to receive a share of the settlement as Binance permitted US customers to engage in trading unregistered cryptocurrency derivatives.

Romero noted that Binance was aware that its platform facilitated illegal activities by terrorist organizations such as Hamas and darknet marketplaces such as Hydra.

“Instead of shutting down this criminal activity financing, Binance turned a blind eye and even advised users how to circumvent Binance’s superficial controls,” Romero added.

Romero also stated that there would be no tolerance for using VPNs to mask internet addresses or circumvent know-your-customer rules, emphasizing a strict approach as crypto regulations tighten.

In a separate statement, CFTC Commissioner Caroline D. Pham said that the agency’s jurisdiction has no borders.

“It should be crystal clear that the CFTC will not stop in its pursuit of non-U.S. entities,” she said.

Pham noted that the case against Binance resulted in two first-ever legal precedents: the first alleged charge of evasion under CFTC Rule 1.6(a) for activities outside the United States relating to swaps, and the first alleged charges for individual liability against a chief compliance officer.

Sister agency the Securities and Exchange Commission has similarly pledged to intensify its efforts against crypto firms engaged in illegal activity, as evidenced by its recent lawsuit against the crypto exchange Kraken. The SEC is also currently embroiled in various ongoing legal disputes with Ripple, Coinbase, and Binance.


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