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Crypto Crackdown: Coinbase and Binance Lawsuits Shake Markets


In more blows to the cryptocurrency sector, two of its biggest players were sued this week by the Securities and Exchange Commission: On Monday, the agency filed charges against Binance, the world’s biggest exchange, and the next day it accused Coinbase, the only publicly listed exchange in the United States, of violating securities laws. The S.E.C.’s chair, Gary Gensler, has long insisted that most crypto tokens are securities, and therefore fall under the agency’s jurisdiction. Many digital asset enthusiasts — including some regulators and lawmakers — say Mr. Gensler is overreaching.There are notable similarities between this week’s cases. The S.E.C. accuses both Binance and Coinbase of operating securities exchanges and selling digital assets that it says should have been registered. But in its suit against Binance, the S.E.C. also accuses its chief executive, Changpeng Zhao, of civil fraud, while its case against Coinbase does not claim fr …

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