Binance answers US senator Elizabeth Warren without addressing financials

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Crypto exchange Binance responded to harsh criticism and demands for answers about its business from US senators including Elizabeth Warren.

In a 14-page letter seen by Bloomberg, Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Hillmann described Binance’s work to build out its compliance program and team – but he also provided scant details on the company’s finances. The response failed to provide a lot of the information lawmakers asked for in their March 1 letter that called Binance a “hotbed” of illegal activity. Mr Hillmann’s response said the company prioritizes regulatory compliance, citing “misconceptions” about the company.

A slew of agencies including the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and Internal Revenue Service have been probing Binance for several years over various potential violations.

Ms Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, along with fellow Democrat Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Republican Roger Marshall of Kansas, had asked Binance and Binance.US – also controlled by Binance Chief Executive Officer Changpeng “CZ” Zhao – to provide copies of balance sheets starting from 2017. They also demanded data on the number of US users by year, copies of internal policies relating to anti-money laundering and “know-your-customer” compliance procedures, as well as written policies regarding the relationship between Binance and Binance.US, among others. 

The senators set a deadline of March 16 for Binance’s response and submission of the documents.

“Binance and its related entities have purposefully evaded regulators, moved assets to criminals and sanctions evaders, and hidden basic financial information from its customers and the public,” the senators wrote. “Your actions have called into question the legitimacy of your business and the safety of your customers’ assets and raised concerns about the potential impact of these activities on the stability of the crypto market and the broader financial system,” the letter said.

Binance’s response, dated March 16, didn’t provide much of that information, but instead recounted the history of the company and its compliance measures. Mr Hillmann recently told Bloomberg the company had compliance gaps in its early years that ...

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