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‘Not pretending cryptocurrency is immune to criminal activities,’ Binance Head of Law Enforcement on crypto regulations



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The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance has been facing heat from regulators globally, especially the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The crypto exchange, along with other leading players like Coinbase, has been rebutting the regulatory scrutiny, especially in the US by calling out the lack of clarity over regulations in the country. Business Today spoke to Jareck Jakubcek, Head of Law Enforcement at Binance APAC, on regulatory issues surrounding cryptocurrencies.
“At Binance, we do welcome opportunities to actively engage with regulators and we definitely do support clearer rules of the game, clearer regulations,” said Jakubcek.
He added, “We believe that there has to be a set of defined rules by which cryptocurrencies have to behave. So having a regulatory framework is a definitely step in the positive direction.”
Jakubcek noted that the Indian government’s steps to provide clear framework of regulations for crypto companies in India has helped the exchange support regulators, like the Indian Directorate of Enforcement (ED), in several investigations.
He said, “We do support criminal investigations in India and other jurisdictions. So far we have had a very positive experience supporting the Enforcement Directorate in India, its investigations, as well as working with other law enforcement agencies in the country.” 
“An example of such a practical cooperation would be our support of the E-Nuggets investigation. During this investigation, we have provided extensive support to the ED, that too often under very short deadlines It allowed identification of the suspects and ultimately led to a substantial seizure of funds,” the Head of Law Enforcement said.
As per a release by the ED from November 2022, India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) asked the crypto exchange Binance to freeze 150.22 bitcoins as part of a money-laundering investigation relating to a gaming app called E-Nuggets. As per current exchange rates, the value of the frozen assets would stand at Rs 32,52,39,012.97. Later, the ED noted that the value of the frozen assets stood at $ 8.4 million.
Jakubcek, who was formerly a Europol analyst, noted that the crypto space is littered with several bad actors trying to defraud investors, and investors need to remain wary.
“I’m not pretending that cryptocurrency is immune to criminal activities. Unfortunately, there are many criminal actors who are using the popular narrative of cryptocurrencies and they are creating scams and different Ponzi schemes to attract naive investors,” he said.
He added, “My advice is do your own research. Take a look at which platforms are most popular. Take a look at whether these platforms actually are used by millions of people, if these platforms were tested through time, or if these platforms can guarantee that they have billions in assets so that you will decrease your counterparty risk.”
Earlier this month, the US SEC filed thirteen charges against Binance entities and co-founder Changpeng Zhao. The US SEC’s complaint alleges that Binance has been running an unregistered exchange, broker, and a clearing agency. On top of that, the complaint claims that the exchange has been selling unregistered crypto assets to investors in the US.
The exchange, along with other key players from the industry, rebutted these allegations claiming that the US SEC has not provided a clear framework for regulations. Gary Gensler, the SEC Chair, refuted these claims in an opinion piece in the newspaper. He wrote, “I find the talking point that there’s a lack of clarity in the securities laws unpersuasive. Some crypto companies might message that the laws are unclear rather than admitting that their platforms don’t have sufficient investor protection.”
He added, “Crypto intermediaries aren’t exactly lining up to register with the SEC and comply with the laws enacted by Congress.”
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