(Reuters) – US cryptocurrency exchange Binance said on Thursday it will suspend US dollar deposits and its banking partners are preparing to pause channels for mandatory dollar withdrawals as early as June 13, just days after US regulators filed a lawsuit against Binance and its CEO. Its Changpeng. Chow.
The US arm of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange said in a tweet at 10:33 PM ET (0233 GMT Friday) that the move comes as it is taking “proactive steps” in its transition to a cryptocurrency-only exchange just in time. Present.
The exchange said in a notice to its clients that trading, deposits and withdrawals in cryptocurrencies will remain fully operational.
On Monday, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Binance and its founder, Zhao, and a day later, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, Coinbase (COIN.O).
The developments mark a dramatic escalation of a crackdown on the industry by US regulators, following the collapse of FTX last year.
US financial regulators said earlier Thursday that they are in favor of freezing Binance’s assets, as filed with and made public by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in a federal court.
“Binance.US is a much smaller company than its international conglomerate. Clearly halting withdrawals would create or incite a great deal of anxiety and panic,” said Matthew Dib, COO of Singaporean crypto platform Stack Funds.
“But day in and day out in the past week, Binance has been hit with different kinds of comments and issues from the SEC and regulators, so this was really expected.”
Cryptocurrency prices barely reacted to the news, as bitcoin fell slightly to $26,496 during the Asian day on Friday.
It was heading for a weekly loss of about 2%, after falling to a two-month low of $25,350 earlier in the week as the SEC crackdown unnerved.
Binance’s BNB token fell 0.46% to $261.46.
“The reaction has been very muted so far. Either the market has ignored it, or it just hasn’t dealt with it yet,” said Tony Sycamore, market analyst at IG Markets.
In a tweet on Thursday, Binance.US said the SEC’s handling of cryptocurrencies is “extremely aggressive and intimidating,” adding that it will continue to “vigorously defend ourselves, our clients, and the industry against unprovoked attacks from the SEC.”
The cryptocurrency industry has attacked US Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler in recent days in the wake of the lawsuits, though he has since dismissed criticism that the agency is trying to crush the crypto industry.
said Wayne Huang, co-founder and CEO of XREX Inc., the blockchain-enabled financial institution that operates the US dollar cryptocurrency exchange XREX.
Additional reporting by Rai Wei in Singapore and Rahat Sandhu in Bengaluru; Editing by Dania Ann Thuble, Shri Navaratnam and Kim Coghill
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