The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has identified 12 crypto tokens as securities in a new lawsuit filed against Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ). The securities regulator asserted that Binance platforms “have made available for trading on them crypto assets that are offered and sold as investment contracts, and thus as securities.”
SEC Highlights 12 Crypto Tokens as Securities in New Lawsuit
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has claimed that 12 crypto tokens are securities in its lawsuit filed Monday against crypto exchange and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ). The lawsuit also names Bam Trading Services, which operates crypto trading platform Binance.US, and its parent company Bam Management US Holdings as defendants. According to the lawsuit, Zhao owns 81% of Bam Management.
The SEC alleged that the defendants have “unlawfully solicited U.S. investors to buy, sell, and trade crypto asset securities through unregistered trading platforms available online at Binance.com and Binance.US.”
The regulator added that since the Binance platforms launched, the defendants “have made available for trading on them crypto assets that are offered and sold as investment contracts, and thus as securities.” The SEC’s lawsuit details:
This includes, but is not limited to, BNB, BUSD, and the units of each of the crypto asset securities further described below — with trading symbols SOL, ADA, MATIC, FIL, ATOM, SAND, MANA, ALGO, AXS, and COTI.
Noting that Binance.com lists more than 350 crypto tokens, the lawsuit further states: “The Binance platforms have made available for trading crypto assets that have been the subject of prior SEC enforcement actions based upon their status as crypto asset securities, including but not limited to AMP (the AMP token), REP (the Augur token), UST (the Terrausd token), and TRX (the token associated with the Tron network).”
The SEC has previously claimed that several other crypto tokens are securities, including DASH, TKN, NGC, and OMG, as stated in its lawsuit against Bittrex. In addition, the watchdog is still engaged in an ongoing lawsuit with Ripple Labs over XRP. Other regulators have also claimed that some crypto tokens are securities, including New York Attorney General Letitia James who stated in a lawsuit filed against crypto exchange in February that AMP, LUNA, LBC, and RLY are securities.
The list of crypto securities expressly mentioned in the Binance lawsuit Monday does not include bitcoin (BTC) or ether (ETH). SEC Chairman Gary Gensler previously said that all crypto tokens, besides bitcoin, are securities. However, he refused to provide a definite answer when asked during his testimony before the House Financial Services Committee whether ether is a security or a commodity. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Rostin Behnam, has insisted that ether is a commodity.
Nonetheless, various individuals have pointed out that the opinion of the SEC or its chair is not the law. Lawyer Logan Bolinger has highlighted that judges, not SEC chairs, have the ultimate authority in interpreting and applying the law.
What do you think about the SEC claiming that the above list of crypto tokens are securities? Let us know in the comments section below.