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Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is under investigation by the Justice Department and the IRS, report says

May 14, 2021, 01:51 IST
Business Insider
Chaopeng Zhang is the founder and CEO of crypto exchange Binance.Binance
  • Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, is under investigation by the US Justice Department and the IRS, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
  • The agencies haven't accused Binance of any wrongdoing, the report said.
  • Officials who investigate money laundering and tax offenses have sought information from individuals with insight into Binance's business.

Binance Holdings, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, is under investigation by the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

The report, citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the confidential probe, said as part of the inquiry, officials who investigate money laundering and tax offenses have sought information from individuals with insight into Binance's business.

The federal agencies haven't accused Binance of wrongdoing, the report said.

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"We take our legal obligations very seriously and engage with regulators and law enforcement in a collaborative fashion," Jessica Jung, a Binance spokeswoman, told Bloomberg in an emailed statement, adding that Binance doesn't comment on specific matters or inquiries. "We have worked hard to build a robust compliance program that incorporates anti-money laundering principles and tools used by financial institutions to detect and address suspicious activity."

The investigation is part of wider efforts by the US to deal with illicit activity that's thrived in the mostly unregulated market, the report said, adding that US officials have expressed concerns that illegal transactions, including theft and drug deals, are being concealed by cryptocurrencies.

Binance, which is incorporated in the Cayman Islands and has an office in Singapore, says it doesn't have a single corporate headquarters. The company was founded in 2017 by tech executive Changpeng Zhao.

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Zhao in an Insider interview published earlier this month explained how he built Binance in 180 days.

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