Binance US delists token after SEC called it security

One of the tokens that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) identified as a security in a recent insider trading case is being delisted by the US-regulated division of cryptocurrency exchange Binance.



“We believe that, in some circumstances, delisting an asset best protects our community from undue risk,” the exchange said in a blog post on Monday.


The US regulator declared last month that Ishan Wahi, a former product manager for Coinbase, his brother, and a friend had traded ahead of several announcements of crypto listings.


According to the SEC, they are accused of purchasing at least 25 cryptocurrencies, at least nine of which were securities, based on secret information.


Only Amp, according to Binance, is listed on its platform out of those nine tokens. These eight additional tokens are RLY, DDX, XYO, RGT, LCX, POWR, DFX, and KROM. They are also referenced in the lawsuit.


The exchange stated it is awaiting further clarification on the token's classification but that Amp trade may restart at some point on its platform.


Beyond bitcoin, there is still uncertainty over the SEC's official position on the legality of cryptocurrencies.


Bitcoin is the sole cryptocurrency asset that Chairman Gary Gensler believes ought to be regulated like a commodity. He stated to CNBC in August 2021 that many others are regarded as securities under the Howey Test by the regulator.


“If somebody is raising money selling a token and the buyer is anticipating profits based on the efforts of that group to sponsor the seller, that fits into something that’s a security,” he said.

Considering that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are "replacements for sovereign currencies," his predecessor, Jay Clayton, stated in 2018, that they are not securities.


Coinbase has requested that the SEC create regulations for the market for digital assets, claiming that "the current securities regulations simply do not apply to digital assets."


The SEC attempted to explain its classification rules for digital asset investment contracts in a lengthy study that was published in 2019, but industry participants claim the rules are still confusing.


According to Anton Chashchin, managing partner of Bitfrost.io, Gensler's desire for the majority of crypto assets to be recognized as securities strikes at the heart of a significant disagreement about how to identify digital assets.


“Some see them as a currency while others see them as a security,” he said. “This has been a source of international debate between regulatory authorities and the crypto industry, and for good reason. The way we treat and define an asset has huge ramifications for how it is regulated.”

Following accusations that it abused securities laws, Binance took the precautionary step of delisting Amp.


According to Bloomberg, the SEC was looking into the exchange for its sale of the BNB coin, the fifth-largest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization.


Separately, a Reuters investigation discovered in June that Binance acted as a middleman for the laundering of $2.35 billion over the course of five years that came from hacking, investment frauds, and illicit drug transactions.

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