DMR News

Advancing Digital Conversations

Binance.US Secures Appeal Victory for Florida Money Services License Reinstatement

ByDayne Lee

May 25, 2024
Binance.US Secures Appeal Victory for Florida Money Services License Reinstatement

Binance.US Secures Appeal Victory for Florida Money Services License Reinstatement

Binance.US, a major player in the cryptocurrency exchange market, has successfully overturned the suspension of its money-services business license in Florida. This decision was handed down by the Florida First District Court of Appeal, which ruled that the emergency suspension order issued by the state’s Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) lacked sufficient legal grounding.

The license suspension was originally enacted following the guilty plea of Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao on November 21, 2023, for violating U.S. Anti-Money Laundering laws. This prompted immediate regulatory action from the OFR, marking the beginning of significant legal and operational hurdles for Binance.US in Florida.

Details of the Court’s Ruling

The appellate court scrutinized the statutory language used by the OFR in its suspension order. It highlighted the word “may” within the statute, which suggests discretionary rather than mandatory authority to suspend a license. The court emphasized that the OFR must provide substantial reasons to justify such a suspension as fair and consider less severe alternatives before taking drastic action.

The court also considered the broader impact of the immediate license suspension on Binance.US’s operations and its customers. It was noted that enforcing the suspension would require the liquidation of digital assets for over 170,000 account holders in the state, posing significant financial risks due to the volatile nature of cryptocurrency prices. This action could lead to considerable financial losses and tax liabilities for the affected customers.

Potential for Further Appeals

While the appeals court has ruled in favor of Binance.US, the decision remains subject to further appeal, indicating that the legal battle may continue as the OFR evaluates its next steps.

Following Zhao’s plea, Binance.US faced similar regulatory challenges in other states. This year, activities were suspended or license renewals denied in Alaska, Maine, North Carolina, and Oregon. The status in Georgia and Ohio remains uncertain, and the platform does not operate as a cryptocurrency exchange in Hawaii, Minnesota, New York, Texas, and Vermont.

Binance.US’s Response to the Suspension

In response to the ongoing legal challenges, Binance.US has temporarily paused new user onboarding in Florida, reflecting the operational impact of these regulatory issues. The company’s proactive appeal of the OFR’s initial decision underscores its commitment to resuming full operations in Florida and other affected states.

StateStatus of Binance.US Operations
FloridaLicense reinstated on appeal
AlaskaLicense renewal denied
MaineActivities suspended
North CarolinaActivities suspended
OregonLicense renewal denied
GeorgiaStatus unclear
OhioStatus unclear

The successful appeal by Binance.US in Florida marks a significant development in the regulatory landscape for cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S. It highlights the complexities of enforcing financial regulations in the rapidly evolving crypto market and the necessity for regulatory bodies to balance enforcement with the economic implications for businesses and their customers.

Featured image credit: Jason Alden via Bloomberg

Dayne Lee

With a foundation in financial day trading, I transitioned to my current role as an editor, where I prioritize accuracy and reader engagement in our content. I excel in collaborating with writers to ensure top-quality news coverage. This shift from finance to journalism has been both challenging and rewarding, driving my commitment to editorial excellence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *