According to Thanefield Capital, nearly $1.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency left several centralized platforms within the 12 hours preceding the indictment. Binance, Kraken, Coinbase, and Bitfinex were among the platforms from which significant funds were withdrawn just before the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) accused Binance and its CEO of regulatory violations. More than half of the withdrawn funds, or $850 million, came from Binance. One hour after the announcement, an additional $240 million was withdrawn.
Nansen’s data revealed that over $400 million worth of Ethereum-based funds were withdrawn in the past 24 hours. Despite the withdrawals, Binance still holds $63.36 billion worth of cryptocurrency assets, including over $2 billion of Tether USDT, $17 billion worth of Bitcoin, and $8.1 billion worth of Ether. The CFTC lawsuit against Binance and Zhao alleges that the company failed to meet its regulatory obligations, including proper registration with the derivatives regulator, and conducted transactions in Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin for U.S. citizens since 2019.
Binance is also being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, federal prosecutors, and the Securities and Exchange Commission for potential violations of Anti-Money Laundering rules and allowing U.S. traders to access unregistered securities. Zhao has denied the allegations made by the CFTC, stating that Binance does not trade for profit or manipulate the market under any circumstances.