A mainstream report citing multiple insiders claimed that Binance mingled customer’s funds with corporate funds at Silvergate Bank.
Crypto exchange Binance denies allegations of mismanagement of customers’ funds. Binance’s denial came in response to a Reuters report that alleged that the crypto exchange comingled customer’s funds with company revenue.
The Reuters report alleged that Binance violated United States banking regulations that require client money to be kept separate. The report alleged that the exchange in 2020 and 2021 mixed its corporate revenue with customer funds and that the comingling occurred on a daily basis.
Reuters cited three insiders with knowledge of the crypto exchange’s finances and further claimed that the majority of comingling had occurred on accounts held at now-bankrupt Silvergate Bank, with the amount having reached billions of dollars.
The report alleged that money from users was sent into the Silvergate account of Key Vision Development, a Seychelles-based company that Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, owned. Binance reportedly informed Silvergate that the Key Vision account’s primary function was to collect dollar contributions from non-U.S. clients.
The report further alleged that another Silvergate-based account linked to the Binance CEO’s Cayman firm was used to convert money into the dollar-linked token Binance USD (BUSD). However, the Reuters report also noted that it found “no evidence that Binance client monies were lost or taken.”
Cointelegraph reached out to Binance for comments on these allegations and was directed to a Twitter response by Binance chief of communication Patrick Hillmann. Hilmann, in his tweet, called the Reuter’s report “1000 words of conspiracy theories.”
Let me explain just how desperate a journalist @Reuters is to publish a negative story. The whole base of their story this morning, is that when users purchased BUSD (Paxos) from Binance, they were taken to a transaction page that had the term “deposit” on it. Users were making a…— Patrick Hillmann (@PRHillmann) May 23, 2023
The Binance executive explained that Reuter’s whole claim is based on user deposit-based USD minting, where users were making a purchase of a stablecoin that was redeemable by Paxos, which was explicitly stated on the page.
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Solana head of strategy Austin Federa questioned why Hillmann didn’t specifically refute fund-comingling claims, to which the Binance executive claimed that the exchange has addressed this issue on multiple occasions.
“We keep our user and corporate funds on completely separate ledgers. There is declining ROI on responding to these types of tabloid stories. We know who their sources are and Reuters will be embarrassed when it becomes public,” Hillmann added.
The recent slew of allegations over violation of U.S. banking laws against Binance comes within months of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s lawsuit against the exchange.
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