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Binance.US Secures Victory in Florida License Appeal

Binance.US has prevailed on its appeal against Florida’s suspension of its money-services business license. The emergency suspension order from the state Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) was deemed unjustified by the Florida First District Court of Appeal.

The suspension of Binance.US Florida license followed Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao’s November 21, 2023, guilty plea in federal court to allegations of breaking U.S. Anti-Money Laundering legislation.

The appeals court cited a state statute that said, if the agency gives justifications, the OFR “may” suspend a money-services business license “by any procedure that is fair under the circumstances.” The agency also did not go over less severe suspension choices. “The usage of’may’ in the statute [cited by the OFR] implies discretion rather than obligation,” the court concluded. It takes more justification than a simple citation to the law to suspend the license.

“For Petitioner to immediately comply with the ESO, it would be necessary to liquidate the digital asset holdings of every customer [which] threaten financial harm because of digital asset price fluctuations,” the court further concluded, endangering over 170,000 state account holders with substantial financial losses and tax obligations.

Appeals are possible against the appeal court’s ruling.

One week after Zhao made his request, the OFR suspended the Binance.US license. Of the various states to do so, it was the first. On March 25, Binance filed an appeal against the OFR ruling; the public cannot see that document. “New user onboarding is temporarily paused” in the state, according to Binance.US on its website.

Other states where Binance.US’s operations were halted or its license renewal was refused this year are Alaska, Maine, North Carolina, and Oregon. It is unknown how things stand in Ohio and Georgia. It never ran as a bitcoin exchange in Vermont, Texas, Minnesota, Hawaii, or New York.

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