Binance’s U.S. arm has re-appeared in the crosshairs of the securities watchdog
Merit Peak Ltd and Sigma Chain AG, two trading companies linked to Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, are at the center of the investigation, with the securities watchdog seeking to determine how exactly they are related to the subsidiary. As of late 2021, Zhao was at the helm of both of the companies.
Trading platforms are required by law to disclose the names of affiliated market makers, which could likely get an unfair advantage over other traders by being able to execute their trades in a more efficient manner.
Binance.US, which was launched in September 2019, was also subpoenaed by the SEC in 2020. The regulator wanted to find out whether the subsidiary actually operated independently from the main exchange.
Rival Coinbase, which went public last April, denied having any affiliated market makers in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.