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Binance CEO Hits Back at 'Weak' KYC Claims

·1-min read

SEOUL, South Korea — Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao countered claims the exchange has a weak know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) regime.

  • Zhao said the exchange – the world’s largest by volume – has the industry’s most advanced system. He spoke during a session at Korea Blockchain Week here.

  • In early July, Reuters reported Binance only made “weak” attempts to prevent money laundering, and that Zhao regularly ignored advice from his compliance team.

  • Zhao, speaking from an undisclosed location, countered that report, stressing the exchange spent a significant amount of time and resources perfecting its KYC/AML system to stay ahead of criminals.

  • “We spend a lot of time fighting hackers without using sanction lists,” he said. “Binance has the most licenses in the world. ... [L]icenses are for building trust," he added.

  • Binance’s investigation team is led by Tigran Gambaryan and Matthew Price, former investigators at the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s cybercrime unit. The two had a leading role in dismantling darknet markets AlphaBay and Hydra.

  • Zhao also pointed to the island nation of Palau’s adoption of Binance’s KYC technology in its digital ID effort. The digital ID system is powered by the BNB chain, which he said proves the maturity and stability of the product.

  • Zhao appeared at Korea Blockchain Week virtually and was interviewed by Leon Foong, the exchange's head of Asia.