U.S. Senators have alleged that the limited public information about Binance’s finances suggests that it is a “hotbed of illegal financial activity.”
In a Mar. 1 letter addressed to Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and Binance.US President Brian Shroder, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Chris Van Hollen and Roger Marshall requested information about the exchange’s finances, risk management and regulatory compliance.
The Senators took issue with Zhao’s failure to disclose Binance’s official headquarters over the years, suggesting it may have been an attempt to dodge regulators and continue to serve users without licenses.
“Recent investigations revealed that your companies have implemented a series of systems specifically designed to circumvent regulatory oversight and facilitate theft, money laundering, and terrorist financing, thereby obscuring its illegal activity,” stated the Senators in the letter.
They claim that despite one-third of Binance users being U.S.-based after its launch in 2017, the company did not register with the Treasury Department. Even when the firm set up a separate U.S.-based subsidiary later on, the Senators claim that its operations were not entirely independent of its parent company.
“Mr. Zhao’s assertion that Binance.US is fully independent is eerily similar to claims Sam Bankman-Fried made regarding the distinction between FTX US and FTX,” said the Senators.
They also asserted that, given its reluctance to disclose financial information to the public, the exchange is a “hotbed of illegal financial activity that has facilitated over $10 billion in payments to criminals and sanctions evaders.”
A Binance spokesperson told CNBC on Thursday that the company looks forward to correcting the record about its operations. The spokesperson reiterated that Binance.com does not service U.S.-based customers, and said the exchange has acknowledged the Senators’ request and intends to provide them with information.
Separately, a Binance.US spokesperson said that the U.S.-based exchange welcomes engagement with policymakers and is confident in the strength of their operations.