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Binance Bleeding After US Charges

FILE: Changpeng Zhao, founder and chief executive officer of Binance, attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, on June 16, 2022.

LONDON/SINGAPORE - Investors have pulled around $790 million from the crypto exchange Binance and its U.S. affiliate in the last 24 hours, data firm Nansen said on Tuesday, a day after a top U.S. regulator sued both exchanges.

Binance saw net outflows of $778.6 million of crypto tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, with its U.S. affiliate, Binance.US, registering net outflows of $13 million, data entity "Nansen" tweeted.

Neither exchange immediately responded to a request for comment.

The U.S. 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 U.S. laws.

The SEC alleged in 13 charges that Binance artificially inflated its trading volumes, diverted customer funds, failed to restrict U.S. 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.

The SEC complaint is the latest in a series of legal headaches for Binance. The company was sued by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in March for operating what it alleged were an "illegal" exchange and a "sham" compliance program.

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

The bad news hit crypto and its exchanges.

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

Bitcoin steadied after falling more than 5% 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.