It is claimed that Binance and its US-based equivalent, Binance.US, which were previously portrayed as separate businesses, have closer relationships than previously disclosed, entangling individuals, technical teams, and funds.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that internal papers and employee conversations show that, despite their claims to be totally independent organizations, Binance and Binance.US shared staff, funds, and a connected company that dealt in the buying and selling of cryptocurrency.
According to the article, Binance built its US platform to protect itself from authorities. A fifth of Binance’s clients were reportedly from the US, and the decision purportedly occurred after US officials hinted at a forthcoming crackdown on unregulated offshore cryptocurrency players.
Concerned about the prospect of punishment, Binance embarked on a strategy to subdue US authorities, according to the article. The plan was to create a minimal American platform called Binance.US that would use Binance’s name and technology under license but otherwise present as completely separate from Binance.com.
The investigation also included messages from 2019 between staff members of the two firms that demonstrate their tight collaboration. For instance, in September 2019, a conversation took place in a Binance chat group on the messaging service Telegram when a staff member in Shanghai activated trading for the U.S. platform a few minutes before it was scheduled to begin.
Developer of Binance program Ninj0r: “How and why did trade begin? It’s not quite time! Who first began trading? The trade timeframes were established, right? Who first began trading?” More messages were sent after that, including one from Ninj0r that was urgent: “someone began TRADING EARLY. One who? Someone manually began trading at 8:56:09.822. Who? Why?” Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, eventually said: “A man here in Shanghai, error operation.”
According to the mails, Binance.US originally had essential software functionalities maintained by engineers in Shanghai. According to a source familiar with the arrangements, the WSJ reported that Binance, not the US platform, was the party with whom the Shanghai developers had agreements.
According to the article, Gary Gensler, who is now the head of the SEC and was formerly the chair of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, was contacted by Binance personnel in 2018 about becoming an advisor for the platform. After this statement was made, a Binance employee said that Gensler will “likely be back in a regulators seat if Democrats win the 2020 election.”