March 02, 2023

Van Hollen, Warren, Marshall Lead Bipartisan Call for Crypto Exchange Binance to Provide Transparency about Potentially Illegal Business Practices

Collapse of FTX Underscores Need for Transparency and Accountability in Crypto

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) sent a bipartisan letter to the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, and its U.S. affiliate, Binance.US, asking for answers about the company’s finances, risk management, and regulatory compliance as it faces investigations into potential crimes – including sanctions evasion, money laundering, and unlicensed money transmission. The letter comes amid the fallout from the FTX collapse, which highlighted the need for further transparency and accountability in the crypto industry. 

“Your companies’ apparent attempts at evading the enforcement of anti-money laundering laws, securities laws, information reporting requirements, and other financial regulations cast serious doubt on the stability and legitimacy of Binance and its related entities, and on your commitment to your customers,” wrote the Senators. “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.”

Binance is the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume, with over 120 million users globally, and has been facing increasingly disturbing allegations about the legality of its operations. Recent investigations have revealed that Binance appears to be evading U.S. regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission; has facilitated at least $10 billion in money laundering and sanctions evasions for criminals and rogue states; and has obscured even its most basic financial information. 

Given these concerns about Binance’s role in evading regulators, moving assets for criminals and sanctions evaders, and hiding basic financial information, the Senators are calling on Binance and Binance.US to release their balance sheets and compliance policies, and answer a set of questions about its business by March 16, 2023.

Text of the letter is available here.