Cryptocurrency exchange Binance was hiding its ties to China for several years as the exchange tried to distance itself from the region where crypto has become a forbidden topic in 2017, the Financial Times (FT) has learned.
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According to details from a company messaging group seen by the FT, Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, as well as other senior executives required from employees to hide the company's presence in China until at least the end of 2019.
Moreover, the exchange used a bank in Shanghai to pay some employee salaries. A spokesperson for Binance denied the FT's statements, saying the report is not an "accurate picture" of the exchange's operations. The FT noted the Binance CEO is constantly denying that Binance is a Chinese company. Zhao himself was born in China, although he moved to Canada as a child.
Earlier in March, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed a lawsuit against Binance and Zhao, saying the trading platform offered unregistered products to US customers without proper registration.
Although Binance publicly denied offering services in the US, the exchange took a "calculated" approach to increase its presence in the country, the CFTC added.
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