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FILE PHOTO: Representations of cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, DogeCoin, Ripple, and Litecoin are seen in front of a displayed Binance logo in this illustration taken, June 28, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo Image Credit: REUTERS

London: Investors have pulled around $790 million from the crypto exchange Binance and its US affiliate in the last 24 hours, data firm Nansen said on Tuesday, a day after a top US regulator sued both exchanges.

Binance saw net outflows of $778.6 million of crypto tokens on the ethereum blockchain, with its US affiliate, Binance.US, registering net outflows of $13 million, Nansen tweeted.

Neither exchange immediately responded to a request for comment.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday sued Binance, its CEO Changpeng Zhao and the operator of Binance.US over what it called a “web of deception” to evade US laws.

The SEC alleged in 13 charges that Binance artificially inflated its trading volumes, diverted customer funds, failed to restrict US customers from its platform and misled investors about its market surveillance controls.

The lawsuit, which cited a number of practices first reported by Reuters in a series of investigations into the exchange, marks the most significant step against a crypto company by the SEC in its sweeping crackdown on the industry this year.

In statements on Monday, Binance said it had been cooperating with the SEC’s probes and had “worked hard to answer their questions and address their concerns”, including by trying to reach a negotiated settlement. “We intend to defend our platform vigorously,” it said in a blog.

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Zhao said the CFTC claims were an “incomplete recitation of facts.”

Crypto blow

Bitcoin steadied after falling more than 5 per cent yesterday, its worst daily decline since April 19. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency was last at $25,723, flat on the day but pinned near a more than two-month low.

“It’s another blow to the crypto industry and the crypto exchanges of the world,” said Tony Sycamore, market analyst at IG Markets, of the SEC suit.

Binance’s BNB cryptocurrency, the world’s fourth-largest, fell 0.3 per cent to a near three-month low of $277, after a 9.2 per cent plunge on Monday, its worst daily fall since November.

The SEC complaint is the latest in a series of legal headaches for Binance. The company was sued by the US.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in March for operating what it alleged were an “illegal” exchange and a “sham” compliance program.