Binance.US Dealt Another Blow: North Dakota Revokes License


Binance.US, the American arm of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is facing a blitz of regulatory scrutiny that threatens to fumble its hold on the lucrative US market. Mounting license revocations and operational restrictions across several states paint a grim picture for the exchange’s future.

Money Transmitter Troubles: The Holding Penalty

The heart of the issue lies in money transmitter licenses, crucial for exchanges to operate legally. North Dakota’s Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) became the latest state to throw a flag on Binance.US, citing non-compliance with local regulations and violations of money transmitter laws.

This follows similar actions by Florida, Alaska, Oregon, Maine, and North Carolina. Regulators point to a November 2023 guilty plea by Binance founder Changpeng Zhao on anti-money laundering charges as evidence of the exchange’s unsuitability.

Source: State of North Dakota, Department of Financial Institutions

The DFI commissioner, Lise Kruse, emphasized the need to protect public interest. “The Commissioner finds the Respondent does not continue to meet the qualifications or satisfy requirements that may apply to an applicant for a new money transmitter license,” stated Kruse. This effectively blocks Binance.US from regaining its license in North Dakota, adding another state to its growing list of “penalty boxes.”

Beyond The Border: Global Woes Spillover

The US situation mirrors the fumbling plaguing Binance globally. Reports of a similar regulatory tussle with the Nigerian government, resulting in a detained executive, likely raise red flags for US regulators, further complicating Binance.US’s case.

Total crypto market cap at $2.3 trillion on the daily chart:

A Long Yard To Go: Can Binance.US Recover?

With mounting restrictions, Binance.US is struggling to stay in the game. The exchange is currently unable to onboard new users in several regions and is entirely inaccessible in over 10 states. Binance.US has until July 17th, 2024 to challenge North Dakota’s decision, but the outlook remains bleak.

Also, the relatively short prison sentence for Zhao suggests a potential course correction within Binance. By demonstrably prioritizing user safety and adhering to US regulations, Binance.US can regain some lost ground. The exchange’s future hinges on its ability to clean up the blunder and execute a winning strategy built on unwavering regulatory compliance.

This critical juncture highlights the ever-evolving regulatory landscape of cryptocurrency. While the innovative potential of crypto is undeniable, exchanges must operate within established frameworks to ensure trust and stability in the market. The outcome of Binance.US’s struggle will be closely watched by the entire cryptocurrency industry, serving as a cautionary tale for exchanges that prioritize speed over compliance.

Featured image from Migration Navigator, chart from TradingView

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