Binance calls out Reuters’ money laundering claims; Details

Sahana Kiran

Changpeng Zhao-led cryptocurrency exchange, Binance has been making a lot of news, for not all the right reasons. The SEC hit the crypto exchange with an investigation about its native asset BNB. This was followed by a slew of money laundering allegations from Reuters. In a recent op-ed published by the news portal, it alleged that Binance had connections with a Russian-based dark market, Hydra.

These claims took the front stage as it claimed that Binance acted as a vehicle to carry out illicit activities. The exchange reportedly processed transactions related to hacks and even drug trafficking. The exchange’s senior director of investigations, Matthew Price previously worked for IRS where he was the lead investigator on Hydra. Speaking to CoinDesk, Price noted called the report out for being ‘skewed’. He further added,

“What I think is very skewed in this report is that every exchange has exposure to dark net markets.”

Over the years, Binance has been dragged into multiple controversies. Despite increased regulatory uncertainty, the exchange continued to explore several markets. Time and again, the exchange has displayed instances of aiding regulators and the market during hacks. As a result, several came in support of the exchange.

Tigran Gambaryan, Binance’s global head of intelligence had also served at the IRS’s cyber crimes unit. Gambaryan went on to shed light on how the exchange did not have control over deposits. Therefore, even if the exchange processed deposits from hacks or illegal drug sales, it would have known only afterward. He said,

“It’s something that completely disregards facts to get an agenda across. The biggest part of this story is completely ignored. You can’t control deposits, you can only control what you can do afterward.”

Was Reuters ignorant of Binance’s side of the story?

As these claims surfaced, Binance took to Twitter and revealed that Reuters had ignored nearly 20 pages of responses from the crypto exchange.

The exchange published 50 pages of details surrounding emails that were exchanged between the entities. The blog post sheds light on how the reporters conveniently ignored direct and indirect exposure to the dark net.

In addition to this several in the community came forward and pointed out how Gambaryan and Price were both parts of IRS’ Hydra takedown. However, the news agency failed to get their insights.

Most of Crypto Twitter seemed to be taking Binance’s side as they noted how Reuters decided to highlight only the “juicy and catchy bits to paint Binance in a bad light.”

Furthermore, as these allegations poured n, Binance had bigger things to worry about, the SEC probe.