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Binance.US, the U.S. arm of the world's largest centralized cryptocurrency exchange platform by trading volume, has taken a significant step against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by filing a protective order in court to counter what it calls a "fishing expedition" by the financial regulator.

The exchange filed the protective order in response to the SEC's lawsuit, which was filed on Monday. Binance claims that the SEC's request for communications is "overboard" and "unduly burdensome."

The motion for the protective order reads, "BAM has worked in good faith, but the SEC has been steadfast in its belief that the Consent Order gives it carte blanche to investigate every aspect of BAM's asset custody practices without any discernible limitation whatsoever."

Additionally, the protective order seeks to limit the SEC to conducting four depositions of BAM employees and to eliminate the depositions of BAM's chief executive and chief financial officer.

It may be recalled that Binance.US, operating under the names BAM Management US Holdings and BAM Trading Services, reached a consent order with the SEC after the commission requested the court to freeze all of the exchange's assets, citing the security of customers' digital asset holdings on the platform.

While the June order allowed the SEC to discover details about Binance.US customers' asset custody, security, and availability, Binance argued that these requests were inappropriate because its asset custody practices were not within the scope of the SEC's lawsuit. Binance noted that it provided customer asset information but the regulator had not presented any evidence of misused customer assets.

"Even if the SEC could show that its requests sought relevant material, they are plainly overbroad and unduly burdensome. The SEC's position that BAM must produce all communications as set forth in the RFPs is breathtaking given that 27 RFPs request 'all communications' concerning at least dozens of topics, many of which are not limited to matters concerning customer assets," Binance.US stated in its motion for the protective order. The exchange added, "The SEC has refused to meaningfully limit the burden of its requests."

Binance also asserted, "The SEC has spent the past 45 days serving incredibly overbroad and unreasonable discovery requests that seek, on their face, every single document in [Binance.US] possession related to customer assets."

It added that the commission "has been steadfast in its belief that the consent order gives it carte blanche to investigate every aspect of [our] asset custody practices without any discernible limitation whatsoever."

In June, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Binance.US and its CEO Changpeng Zhao, alleging the operation of a "web of deception," and listed 13 charges against them.

(Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao. The error is regretted.)