“Sadly, our industry has to continue addressing these issues over and over again as interested parties continue to spread disinformation or purposely mislead the general public by leaving out critical context, such as how much more effective crypto is than the traditional banking system at casting sunlight on illicit activity.”
This is the statement of cryptocurrency wallet and exchange Binance after media outlet Reuters published an article that claimed the company as a hub for hackers, fraudsters, and drug traffickers.
The article released by the media outlet stated that a “torrent of illicit funds” has passed through Binance from 2017 to 2021.
“Binance processed transactions totaling at least $2.35 billion stemming from hacks, investment frauds, and illegal drug sales, Reuters calculated from an examination of court records, statements by law enforcement, and blockchain data, compiled for the news agency by two blockchain analysis firms,” Reuters wrote.
It included the incident of a North Korean Hacking group named Lazarus that broke and stole crypto worth $5.4 million from Eterbase, a Slovakian exchange, then transferred the stolen crypto to at least two dozen anonymous accounts on Binance.
It was one of a string of cyber heists by Lazarus that the US government said were aimed at funding North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
The article also added the 2020 report of crypto researcher Chainalysis, hired by U.S. government agencies to track illegal flows, that Binance received criminal funds of $770 million in 2019 alone, more than any other crypto exchange.
Binance Responded to Reuters’ Allegations
“We highly suggest you ignore those authors and pundits who cherry-pick data, rely on conveniently unverifiable leaks from regulators, and feed into the cult of crypto paranoia for fame or financial gain. Instead, just look at the facts,” Binance answered through a blog post on its website.
The crypto exchange emphasized that crypto is “well-documented” and is more transparent than the traditional cash economy.
Binance stated in the report of Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis company, that only 0.15% of the transactions made with crypto in 2021 were associated with illicit activity. While 2% to 5% of the traditional fiat money was associated with illicit activities.
“Neither our industry or Binance is perfect, but we have grown by leaps and bounds over the past three years. Crypto is a completely new innovation. And just like many regulators and policymakers, we’re still working through what an appropriate regulatory framework should look like,” Binance assured.
This is not the first time that Reuters reported Binance; last January, Reuters concluded that the crypto exchange still had weak money-laundering checks even as it promised tougher compliance.
Recently, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it will open an investigation against Binance over the 2017 initial coin offering of its BNB token.
Within this year, Binance got regulatory approval in France, Dubai and Bahrain, and is applying for registration in Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal and Austria.
This article is published on BitPinas: Binance Answers Reuters’ Money Laundering Allegations: It Purposely Misleads General Public
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