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SEC Chair Allegedly Once Offered to Be Binance Advisor, Is Personal Vendetta at Play?

Thu, 06/08/2023 - 08:48
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Godfrey Benjamin
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler allegedly once offered to be Binance advisor, will this affect lawsuit?
SEC Chair Allegedly Once Offered to Be Binance Advisor, Is Personal Vendetta at Play?
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New details are making the rounds about the potential relationship between Binance exchange and Gary Gensler, the chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Per a CNBC report citing the filing made by Binance lawyers from Gibson Dunn and Latham & Watkins, the SEC chair once offered to be an advisor to the crypto trading platform back in 2019 — not all that long ago.

That period was before his appointment as the successor to Jay Clayton, and he was still teaching at the MIT Sloan School of Business at the time. The Binance lawyer's filing at the time detailed that there was an active conversation between Binance executives, including Changpeng "CZ" Zhao and Gary Gensler, on the subject.

While the report was silent on the reasons why the SEC boss was not hired at the time, it detailed a couple of meetings between CZ and Gensler. On one of the occasions, both met for lunch in Japan in March 2019, and the duo also sat down to an interview as part of a course Gensler was himself taking at MIT at the time.

The tide has since shifted between both men and the SEC; under Gensler's directives, the SEC has levied a 13-count charge against Binance and CZ on account of violating federal securities laws. Speculations now abound that there might be a personal vendetta at play in the charges brought forward.

Coinbase's Armstrong Throws Veiled Shade at Binance

Demand from Binance lawyers

Binance's lawyers are apparently sensing a conflict of interest based on the association between Gensler, CZ and the exchange. As such, they want the SEC boss to recuse himself from any actions that involve Binance exchange.

According to CNBC, a spokesperson for the SEC said Gensler "is very familiar with and in full compliance with his ethical obligations including any recusal obligations."

Binance has stated its intentions to defend itself in court, and in the months ahead, we may see a drawn-out legal battle like the yet-to-be-concluded one between the commission and Ripple Labs Inc.

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About the author

Godfrey Benjamin is an experienced crypto journalist whose main goal is to educate everyone around him about the prospects of Web 3.0. His love for crypto was birthed when, as a former banker, he discovered the obvious advantages of decentralized money over traditional payments. With his vast experience covering various aspects of Web3, Godfrey's articles has been featured on, Cryptonews and Coingape, among others.