Binance vs. CFTC Lawsuit Is Unlikely To End This Year
- Court sets deadlines for filing motions of Binance vs. CFTC lawsuit, potentially extending the dismissal process until next year, while a looming DOJ lawsuit adds to the legal challenges.
- Binance and its CEO CZ seek dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the US CFTC for allegedly violating derivatives rules.
- Binance strengthens its legal team by hiring former SEC and DOJ officials, while the DOJ establishes a National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team for crypto oversight and investigations.
In a bid to challenge the lawsuit filed by the US Commodity Futures Trade Commission (CFTC), Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, and its CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, along with former chief compliance officer Samuel Lim, are seeking dismissal.
The Court for the Northern District of Illinois has granted the defendants the right to file separate motions supporting their dismissal, with a deadline set for July 27. However, recent developments indicate potential delays in the legal proceedings, with a looming Department of Justice (DOJ) suit further complicating matters.
As per a minute entry on July 26, the defendants (Binance) are expected to file their motions to dismiss by the previously granted date of July 27. On the other hand, the court has extended the plaintiff’s (CFTC) deadline to September 22, effectively stalling Binance’s plans to argue lack of jurisdiction as grounds for dismissal. Binance will have an opportunity to respond to the CFTC’s reply by October 23, with the response limited to 35 pages.
The jurisdictional discovery process remains on hold while both Binance and the CFTC file their respective motions to dismiss, leading to the possibility of the lawsuit extending into the next year. The court explicitly stated that any requests for early jurisdictional discovery must be made through written motions and presented during the regular motion call.
Meanwhile, the crypto exchange is also facing potential legal challenges from the US DOJ, as it is common for SEC and CFTC lawsuits to be followed by DOJ involvement. This adds to the mounting legal pressure on Binance, its founder Changpeng Zhao, and former chief compliance officer Samuel Lim.
The CFTC filed a lawsuit in March, alleging that Binance and CZ consistently violated US derivatives rules as the exchange grew to become the world’s largest digital-asset trading platform. The regulator claimed that the exchange should have registered with the agency years ago and is continuing to breach CFTC rules.
In addition to the CFTC lawsuit, the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) also accused Binance and Zhao of mishandling customer funds, misleading investors and regulators, and breaking securities rules. Binance has expressed its intent to vigorously defend its platform against these allegations.
Amid these legal battles, Binance is bolstering its legal team by hiring former SEC and DOJ officials. M. Kendall Day, a former acting deputy assistant attorney general at the DOJ’s Criminal Division, has recently been hired as counsel. On the other hand, the DOJ is expanding its team of prosecutors and legal experts, establishing a dedicated National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team to handle crypto oversight and investigations.
As Binance faces these challenges in the US legal system, the crypto exchange remains steadfast in its commitment to defending its platform against regulatory actions and lawsuits. The unfolding legal saga will undoubtedly have significant implications for the cryptocurrency industry, drawing attention to the need for robust regulatory compliance in the digital asset space.
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