Binance may have hidden its presence in China for years
Based on new reports, the Binance crypto exchange allegedly hid many primary links to China for several years.
Binance exchange and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, are under the regulatory spotlight in U.S. regulators owing to a legal suit against fraud. Recent reports allegedly expose the network’s former links to China amid the ongoing trouble.
Binance hid China links
The Financial Times recently reported that Binance allegedly intentionally hid the network’s operations in China. These recent reports are based on messages from a group chat and other documents.
In the group chat, Binance’s CEO and other executives reportedly instructed employees to obscure facts about Binance’s presence in China. The message allegedly noted that employees could only confirm Binance’s offices in Malta, Singapore, and Uganda.
You might also like: Crypto markets react to Binance’s battles with CFTC
The exchange has repeatedly reiterated that they do not have offices in China. Executives noted that some founding members who initially lived in Shanghai left China before the company was incorporated.
Based on the executive personnel, Binance moved from China in 2017 when the country intensified its crypto crackdown.
Amid the reports, FT noted some recently surfacing documentation that Binance was present in China until late 2019. For instance, documentation reveals that in 2018, some Binance employees were being paid their wages via a Shanghai-based bank.
Later, some Binance employees attended a tax session in China. In 2019, Binance hired a data analyst in Shanghai.
Documentation allegedly indicates that employees were even warned not to wear apparel with the Binance logo in or around the offices.
Furthermore, Binance employees have instructions to use VPNs on their devices in China. The recent CFTC lawsuit highlighted a similar allegation.
According to FT, Binance quashed the cited sources, saying the mischaracterized events using ancient history.
The exchange is facing a legal suit by the CFTC, which alleged that this exchange served US clients illegally. CFTC’s lawsuit claims that the network intentionally never disclosed the locations and offices of its executives based on CFTC’s statement.
The CFTC argument is that failure to disclose such info amounted to an attempt to avoid regulations.
Read more: CFTC chair urges US to develop privacy-focused CBDCs