- Reuters claimed that Binance mixed customer funds with corporate funds in 2020 and 2021
- However, the report fails to show evidence for its main claim and for customers losing funds as a result of Binance’s actions
Binance – the world’s largest crypto exchange – has once again hit the spotlight with Reuters claiming that the platform commingled customer funds and company revenue. The report claimed that the incident took place in 2020 and 2021, and the funds’ mix-up was in violation of the United States Financial rules.
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Allegations against Binance
Additionally, the report asserted that the funds commingled ran in billions of dollars. And, it happened nearly every day with accounts associated with the now-collapsed Silvergate Bank. However, Reuters stated that it was unable to find proof backing these statements. The report further stated that the agency “reviewed a bank record” dated 10 February 2021, which showed that the exchange mingled “$20 million from a corporate account with $15 million from an account that received customer money.”
Speaking on the matter with Reuters, a Binance spokesperson asserted that the exchange did not commingle any funds. In fact, the funds were always corporate funds. The spokesperson further stated that the money sent to the account was for buying BUSD, Binance stablecoin issued by Paxos.
Reuters based its main report on Binance terming its customers’ dollar transfers as “deposits”. This would then be “credited” to their accounts in BUSD. These dollar transfers could be withdrawn by customers, which a former regulator stated implies safeguarding of funds, the report said. Reuters also claimed that it could not find any evidence of Binance’s clients losing their funds.
Response to the report
Patrick Hillmann – the chief communications officer at Binance – spoke on the report in a Twitter post. Hillmann stated that Reuters had to state that no evidence was found of customers losing funds because the report was “so weak”. He called this a “transparent attempt to protect themselves from libel suit”. The communications chief also stated that the crypto exchange has been upfront about its regulatory shortcomings, giving no reason for Reuters to make “stuff up”.
He further said,
“Also, the xenophobia behind consistently mentioning @cz_binance’s ethnicity without noting that he’s been Canadian since the age of 12 is about as subtle as a hammer wrapped in a pillowcase.”