Binance to face off against SEC in pivotal hearing

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance is prepared to square off against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a pivotal court hearing on Monday that could shape regulation of the crypto sector.

Binance aims to convince a Washington federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the regulator last June. The SEC accused Binance’s operator BAM Trading, CEO Changpeng Zhao and its U.S. affiliate of inflating trading volumes, mishandling customer funds and misleading investors. It also alleged that Binance unlawfully offered trading in unregistered securities.

The rescheduled hearing follows a separate court case between the SEC and rival exchange Coinbase on similar issues. Both platforms dispute the regulator’s authority over cryptocurrencies.

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While Binance settled with other U.S. agencies over illicit financing breaches, paying $4.3 billion in fines, it remains locked in battle with the SEC. The exchange is unwilling to concede the tokens cited are securities or admit fraud, believing the regulator overreached.

The case is the latest in growing legal action targeting crypto trading platforms. The SEC initially focused on token issuers but has expanded its scope to include clearing activities and acting as broker-dealers.

A partial SEC loss last year against Ripple has fueled confidence among crypto firms. However the Binance hearing outcome could define the agency’s authority over the sector.