SEC Chairman Gary Gensler once offered to serve as adviser to Binance, attorneys representing Binance and its founder Changpeng Zhao have claimed.
According to a CNBC on June 7 reportdocuments filed by the SEC on June 7 indicated that lawyers for Gibson & Dunn and Latham & Watkins alleged that Gensler had offered to serve as adviser to the exchange in March 2019.
However, a previous Wall Street Journal report in March suggested that Binance had actually first approached Gensler in 2018 for the role of adviser.
According at the WSJ, which cited posts and documents from 2018 to 2020, Ella Zhang, who was then the head of Binance’s venture capital investment arm and Harry Zhou, co-founder of Binance’s investment company , Koi Trading, first met Gensler in October 2018 to offer him an advisory role. Gensler later declined the offer.
Additionally, the report claims that several private companies approached Gensler to serve as an adviser while teaching at MIT, but he declined all offers.
United States President Joe Biden nominated Gensler to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission in February 2021 and was subsequently sworn in on April 17, 2021.
Prior to joining the SEC, he was Professor of Global Economics and Management Practice at MIT Sloan School of Management. From 2017 to 2019, he served as Chairman of the Maryland Financial Consumer Protection Commission.
Related: SEC’s Gensler Claims ‘Parallels’ Between Binance and FTX, But One Hasn’t Been Prosecuted
The SEC sued Binance on June 5 for failing to register as a securities exchange and for allegedly operating illegally in the United States. The financial regulator has brought a total of 13 charges against the crypto exchange, including unregistered offers and sales of BNB (BNB) and Binance. USD tokens (BUSD) as well as its staking program.
On June 7, Binance sent a message through its Chinese social media channels stating that it was “different” from other crypto exchanges amid increased regulatory actions against it.
In the statement, Binance said its wallet addresses were transparent and the exchange had never “siphoned funds from consumers.” -such a subtle nod to the practices operated by the now defunct crypto exchange FTX.
On the same day, Zhao sparked a debate on Twitter, when he pointed out that the SEC had never sued FTX, despite Gensler claiming there were many “parallels” between the two companies in an interview.
Cointelegraph contacted the SEC for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
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