The world’s largest crypto exchange allegedly concealed its presence in China for years after it supposedly left the country.
According to a Wednesday report from the Financial Times, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and other senior executives instructed the exchange’s employees to hide its ties to China after a government clampdown on the industry in 2017.
Internal company documents reviewed by FT revealed that employees were asked to hide an office that was in use until 2019 and a Chinese bank that was used to pay salaries to some Binance employees
“We no longer publish our office addresses . . . people in China can directly say that our office is not in China,” Zhao said in a company messaging group.
The Binance CEO has publicly maintained that the firm has no official headquarters despite offices in several cities across the globe, including Malta, Singapore, Dubai and Paris. In a July interview with Decrypt, Zhao said that Binance had established a global holding company for its centralized exchange, the location of which was still yet to be announced.
“We will announce that in due time. But it’s very simple. It’s not that complicated,” said Zhao at the time.
Binance has also been accused of unlawfully operating in the U.S by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The regulator filed a lawsuit against the crypto exchange earlier this week, alleging that the firm took a calculated approach to increase its presence in the U.S. by encouraging users to adopt creative workarounds like Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to access the platform.
Although Zhao refuted the CFTC’s allegations in a blog post, many market participants believe that the complaint poses a real threat to Binance’s continued operations.
This is the case we've long heard rumored that Binance denied, and it is going straight for the jugular.
Points out specific action to broker US exposure to leveraged products despite access controls. pic.twitter.com/gcU56u7xmO
— Adam Cochran (adamscochran.eth) (@adamscochran) March 27, 2023