Binance a 'Hotbed of Illegal Financial Activity,' U.S. Senators Claim

Three lawmakers are pressing the crypto exchange on allegations it sought to limit compliance.

AccessTimeIconMar 2, 2023 at 1:23 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 2, 2023 at 9:14 p.m. UTC

Three U.S. senators have written to Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange, asking for details about its money-laundering controls and accusing Binance of being a "hotbed of illegal financial activity."

The story was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

According to the letter to Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, which was dated Wednesday, the group requested details of the company's balance sheets, internal procedures and any communications about alleged efforts by Zhao to limit compliance.

The letter, from Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) said that Binance and related entities "have purposefully evaded regulators, moved assets to criminals and sanctions evaders and hidden basic financial information from its customers and the public," the Journal reported.

The exchange is reportedly bracing itself for significant fines for past conduct.

A Binance spokesperson told CoinDesk that the exchange "always" responds to queries from jurisdictions in which it operates, but suggested the accusations in the letter were false.

“A lot of misinformation has been spread about our company, and we look forward to correcting the record,” the spokesperson said, adding that, the corporate entity, doesn't operate in or have customers in the U.S.

The company, however, conducts its U.S.-related business through its subsidiary Binance.US.

In response to the senators, the company “will provide information to help them better understand why we remain the most trusted platform with users across the globe,” the spokesperson added.

UPDATE (Mar. 2, 2023, 14:15 UTC): Adds comment from Binance.


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Jack Schickler is a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

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