A legal battle between crypto exchange Binance, former CEO Changpeng Zhao and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) escalated this week, despite the exchange and its founder reaching a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) late last month.
The securities regulator shows no signs of letting up on its case against Binance and Zhao, saying in a Dec. 8 motion that the parties pleading guilty to anti-money laundering and other criminal violations in the DOJ case furthered the SEC’s opposing arguments to a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
In a Tuesday filing, Binance’s lawyers said that the SEC had failed to demonstrate the relevance of Binance’s settlement with the DOJ and FinCEN to their case.
“As an initial matter, the SEC Notice is an impermissible supplemental brief that identifies no new ‘authority’ and instead attempts to introduce new factual information and arguments. This alone is reason to disregard it,” said Binance’s lawyers.
The SEC alleged that Binance violated U.S. securities laws by failing to register as a broker-dealer for securities.
The regulator also cited Binance’s sale of its BNB token at its initial coin offering and its BUSD stablecoin as examples of the crypto exchange’s sale of investment contracts, along with the offering of staking and earn programs that allegedly violated federal laws.
Meanwhile, last Thursday, the BNB Chain recorded 32.7 million transactions – an all-time high transaction count for the Layer 1 blockchain. Gas prices on the network remained stable at 3 gwei, despite block sizes reaching 100% due to increased demand.