Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, has disputed claims that it has acted as a vehicle for the laundering of at least $2.35 billion in illicit funds.
- A Reuters report claimed that Binance has become a "hub for hackers, fraudsters and drug traffickers" with strong links to Russia-based dark web market Hydra.
- Matthew Price, Binance's senior director of investigations who was the lead investigator on Hydra when he worked at the IRS criminal investigation, told CoinDesk: "What I think is very skewed in this report is that every exchange has exposure to dark net markets."
- Tigran Gambaryan, the exchange's global head of intelligence who also worked at the IRS' cyber crimes unit, added: "It's something that completely disregards facts to get an agenda across."
- "The biggest part of this story is completely ignored. You can't control deposits, you can only control what you can do afterwards," Gambaryan added.
- Price and Gambaryan said that Binance has a stringent process in place that handles exposure to fraud, dark net markets and scams using blockchain analytics software provided by Chainalysis and Elliptic.
- "There is a system in place. We do have risk scoring for everything you can think of. We have everything tagged internally based on our tools, then we are able to do post-transaction monitoring with Chainalysis," Gambaryan noted.
- The email exchange reiterates that the reporter was confusing "indirect" exposure to dark net markets and "direct exposure."
- Data from Chainalysis reveals that 0.15% of all cryptocurrency transactions in 2021 were associated with illicit activity, while the U.N. estimates that between 2% and 5% of fiat currency is linked to some form of criminal activity.
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