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In the wake of Binance’s settlement with the Department of Justice (DOJ), Ripple’s Chief Legal Officer (CLO) Stuart Alderoty has highlighted an important point as it relates to crypto regulation in the country. 

Crypto Tokens Are Not Securities In a post on his X (formerly Twitter) platform, Alderoty questioned the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) stance on crypto tokens. He noted that neither did the DOJ mention anything about Binance violating securities laws or that the crypto tokens on the exchange were securities in the charges it brought against the foremost crypto exchange in the world. 

As he rightly mentioned, the DOJ didn’t make any statement to suggest that crypto tokens were securities in line with the view that the SEC already holds. This is despite the fact that it continues to crack down on crypto exchanges that are offering “unregistered securities” on their platform. 

The charges that the DOJ had leveled against Binance and its now-former CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao only related to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), failure to register as a money-transmitting business, and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). 

According to Alderoty, the SEC’s fabricated term “crypto asset securities” is nowhere to be found in the DOJ case against Binance. He argues that this is because it has no meaning under the law, likely alluding to Judge Analisa Torres’ ruling that XRP wasn’t a security in itself (a ruling which could also imply that other crypto tokens aren’t securities). 

Meanwhile, Alderoty commended the DOJ’s action against Binance as he believes such a resolution is a “necessary step” in getting the crypto industry to comply with the important laws and safeguards. He suggested that the crypto industry was going to face a similar trajectory as Big banks as the latter also went through something similar years ago. 

Binance Still Not Yet In the Clear In its official release, the DOJ mentioned that the resolution with Binance was part of coordinated efforts with the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) with the SEC not mentioned. 

With that in mind, Binance still has to answer to the civil suit that the SEC had instituted against it back in June. The financial regulator alleges that Binance has been operating as an unregistered securities exchange. As part of the charges, it also accused the exchange of mishandling customer funds and lying to regulators and investors about its operations. 

The fine of over $4 billion, which the crypto exchange is to pay as part of the resolution with the DOJ, represents one of the highest compliance fines ever recorded in history. Additionally, the exchange may still have to pay more fines depending on how the SEC’s case against the crypto exchange goes. 

BNB price at $236 | Source: BNBUSDT on Featured image from CryptoRank, chart from

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Scott Matherson Scott Matherson is a leading crypto writer at Bitcoinist, who possesses a sharp analytical mind and a deep understanding of the digital currency landscape. Scott has earned a reputation for delivering thought-provoking and well-researched articles that resonate with both newcomers and seasoned crypto enthusiasts. Outside of his writing, Scott is passionate about promoting crypto literacy and often works to educate the public on the potential of blockchain.

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February 2024


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