Federal authorities in Manhattan have initiated charges against KuCoin, a major global cryptocurrency trading platform, for breaches of U.S. anti-money laundering regulations. This action underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring that financial entities, especially in the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency sector, adhere to legal standards designed to prevent illicit financial flows. Since its inception in 2017, KuCoin, based in the Seychelles, is accused of inadequately screening its clients, which purportedly facilitated the movement of illicit funds amounting to billions of dollars.

The indictment details that KuCoin courted business within the United States without the necessary registration with the Treasury Department, nor did it establish the mandatory customer identity verification processes as stipulated by U.S. laws. In response to the allegations, KuCoin assured its clientele via the social media platform X that their assets remain secure, while its legal team is examining the claims. KuCoin’s statement emphasized its dedication to respecting the legal frameworks and compliance standards of various jurisdictions.

Furthermore, the charges extend to KuCoin’s founders, Chun Gan and Ke Tang, both Chinese nationals, who are currently not in custody, facing accusations of conspiracy. In a parallel development, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has lodged a civil lawsuit against KuCoin for not registering its futures and swaps trading activities as mandated by regulatory authorities.

This legal challenge follows a recent agreement by KuCoin to prohibit users from New York on its platform and to settle a lawsuit with the state for $22 million for not having the required registration. Among cryptocurrency exchanges globally, KuCoin ranks behind industry leaders like Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken, when evaluated based on metrics such as user traffic, liquidity, and trading volumes, as per data from CoinMarketCap.

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