Cryptocurrency exchange Binance was mixing finances and staff at Binance.US, although the US-based exchange was portraying itself as an entirely independent entity, The Wall Street Journal has learned, citing internal documents from 2018 to 2020 and interviews with former employees.
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The report says Binance created the American version of its platform to "neutralize US authorities" as it was worrying about the threat of prosecution. The documents obtained by WSJ reportedly show Binance developers in China had access to the software code supporting Binance.US users' crypto wallets.
A spokeswoman for Binance acknowledged that the exchange "did not have adequate compliance and controls in place during those early years." However, she reassured that Binance has become a "very different company today when it comes to compliance." As of press time, Binance Founder, Changpeng Zhao, made no public statements regarding the matter.
In mid-February, Binance Chief Strategy Officer, Patrick Hillmann, told WSJ in an interview the exchange might pay penalties to settle investigations conducted by US regulators against the exchange.
Binance was working with regulators to "figure out what are the remediations we have to go through now to make amends for that," he added. However, Hillmann admitted that the outcome could be more than just a fine.
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