June 8 (Reuters) – Crypto exchange Binance.US said on Thursday it would freeze U.S. dollar deposits and its banking partners were preparing to suspend fiat dollar withdrawal channels starting June 13, days after U.S. regulators sued Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao. . .
The U.S. arm of the world’s largest crypto exchange said in a tweet at 10:33 p.m. EDT (0233 GMT) on Thursday that the move comes as it is taking “proactive steps” in transitioning to a crypto-only exchange for the time being. .
Trading, staking, deposits and withdrawals are fully functional in the crypto, the exchange said in a notification to its customers.
On Monday, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Finans and its founder Zhao, and a day later sued Coinbase ( COIN.O ), America’s largest cryptocurrency platform.
The developments mark a dramatic increase in the crackdown on the industry by US regulators following last year’s FTX outbreak.
Earlier on Thursday, U.S. financial regulators said they supported freezing Binance’s assets, according to a federal court filing the U.S. SEC made public.
“Binance.US is a significantly smaller business than their international counterparts. Stopping withdrawals would obviously create or incite anxiety and panic,” said Matthew Dibb, COO of Singapore crypto platform Stock Funds.
“But day by day over the past week, Binance has been hit with a variety of comments and issues from the SEC and regulators, so this was really expected.”
In its tweet, Binance.US called the SEC’s take on cryptocurrency “very aggressive and intimidating,” adding that it has created challenges between the exchange and its banking partners.
“It’s going to be a long battle and it’s not going to be sorted out in the next two or three months, it’s going to be a few years,” Tipp said.
Reporting by Ray Wee in Singapore and Rahat Sandhu in Bangalore; Editing: Tanya Ann Thopil and Sri Navaratnam
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