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US CFTC Warns Crypto Exchanges: Binance’s Compliance Woes

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has issued a stern warning to cryptocurrency exchanges regarding their treatment of customers. This warning closely follows Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao’s admission of non-compliance with money laundering regulations.

CFTC Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero emphasized that US markets have no place for unregulated behavior, stating, “There are no pirate ships in US markets.” She further stressed that access to US customers is a privilege, not a right, and outlined zero tolerance for tactics like VPN usage or evading KYC rules. Romero also highlighted the importance of users honestly responding to pop-up queries about their location.

Additionally, Commissioner Caroline D. Pham affirmed the CFTC’s commitment to pursuing actions against non-US entities.

On Tuesday, CZ of Binance pleaded guilty to US charges and resigned as CEO as part of the agreement, while the exchange faces a $4.3 billion fine, $50 million of which is CZ’s liability. Interestingly, CZ’s situation mirrors that of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, although CZ is currently out on a $175 million bond, with a final hearing scheduled for February 2024.

Despite Binance’s recent filing dismissing US CFTC charges, the outcome did not favor the exchange, potentially opening doors for regulators to target other US-based crypto platforms. Notably, Coinbase is entangled in a legal dispute with the SEC over alleged unregistered security sales, akin to Ripple’s lengthy legal battle that saw some partial rulings in favor of the crypto firm earlier this year.

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