Just before crypto exchange Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao were accused of regulatory violations by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), almost a billion dollars in crypto reportedly left the platform’s wallets.
According to the Thanefield Capital data research, substantial funds were withdrawn a few hours before the Binance CFTC indictment, which occurred on Monday, March 27, at 3:00 pm UTC. In the 12 hours preceding the indictment, almost $1.5 billion left platforms such as Binance, Kraken, Coinbase and Bitfinex. More than half of it, or $850 million, was withdrawn from Binance.
Just one hour after the announcement, Binance saw an additional $240 million withdrawn. According to the data from Nansen, in the past 24 hours, more than $400 million were withdrawn in Ethereum-based funds.
However, Binance still holds $63.36 billion worth of cryptocurrency assets, including over $2 billion of Tether (USDT), $17 billion worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and $8.1 billion worth of Ether (ETH).
The CFTC filed a suit against Binance and Zhao in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. According to the Commission, which has been investigating Binance’s business since 2021, the company failed to meet its regulatory obligations by not properly registering with the derivatives regulator. Binance allegedly conducted transactions in Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin (LTC) for U.S. citizens since at least 2019.
Related: 7 details in the CFTC lawsuit against Binance you may have missed
The largest crypto exchange in the world has also been investigated by the Internal Revenue Service and federal prosecutors, which have examined its adherence to Anti-Money Laundering rules. The Securities and Exchange Commission conducted its own inquiry into whether Binance allowed U.S. traders to access unregistered securities.
Zhao has already rejected the allegations from the CFTC, arguing that the crypto exchange “does not trade for profit or ‘manipulate’ the market under any circumstances.”
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