SEC official says Binance US operates ‘unregistered stock exchange’

A US Securities and Exchange official said agency staff believe Binance US operates an unregistered securities exchange in the US and staff believe Voyager Digital’s sale of VGX tokens violates federal securities laws.

During a bankruptcy hearing to determine whether Voyager should be sold to Binance US, SEC Senior Trial Attorney William Uptegrove said he was responding to Judge Michael Wiles of New York’s Southern District Bankruptcy Court, who said at the start of the hearing that the SEC had given few guidelines or details about his objection to the sale of the Voyager.

“The staff believes – based solely on the facts and circumstances currently known to the staff – that the offering and sale of VGX Tokens has the characteristics of a securities transaction,” he said. “The staff also believe that Binance US operates an unregistered securities exchange in the United States.”

The official noted that the views of SEC staff do not necessarily reflect the views of the five commissioners at the bureau’s head. He did not say whether the SEC had any enforcement action related to his statement in the works.

“The committee has not made a decision on any of these issues,” he said. “The beliefs of the staff do not represent the [view] from the Commission.”

Typically, an enforcement action by the SEC is initiated by the staff, but a majority of the commissioners must vote in favor to proceed.

Binance US did not immediately return a request for comment.

Uptegrove’s comments echo SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, who has said in the past that he believes a majority of crypto trading platforms should be registered as national stock exchanges, which would make them operate under the agency’s disclosure and compliance regime. .

UPDATE (March 3, 2023, 23:25 UTC): Adds additional information.


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