The CEO of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, received a court summons in his apartment in Malta, following a lawsuit filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The SEC has filed 13 lawsuits against Changpeng Zhao and the exchange for allegedly ‘commingling billions of dollars of investor assets’ and disregarding US federal securities laws.
Mr Zhao’s address is listed as a Fort Cambridge apartment in Sliema.
The @SECGov has sent @cz_binance’s summons to an address in Malta.— Eleanor Terrett (@EleanorTerrett) June 7, 2023
According to an insider familiar:
“CZ has very publicly been splitting his time between Dubai and Paris. The SEC is keenly aware of what his actual address is as they have been in contact with his lawyers.” https://t.co/k48nqNbReU pic.twitter.com/7rMt0jqLdM
He reacted to the court summons on Twitter, saying, “I was told this is just part of the SEC compliant process. Nothing new. Also told I won’t have to appear in person.”
In response to the lawsuits, the company had released a statement: “while we take the SEC’s allegations seriously, they should not be the subject of an SEC enforcement action, let alone on an emergency basis.”
“Today’s action is another in a line of examples where, as with other crypto projects facing similar suits, the Commission has determined to regulate with the blunt weapons of enforcement and litigation rather than the thoughtful, nuanced approach demanded by this dynamic and complex technology.”
The company also accused the SEC’s move as intended ‘to make headlines’ and not actually protect investors.
The company had relocated to Malta in 2018 at a time when the country was positioning itself as a ‘Blockchain Island’ after the Government introduced several laws intended to regulate the industry.
However, in 2019 Binance announced it no longer sought to get licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority and subsequently relocated again.
While the company is no longer operating from Malta it still maintains two companies registered in the country, named Binance Europe Services Limited and Binance Marketing Services Limited. To date it is unclear where the parent company is actually headquartered.
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