Our Response to Reuters
Once again, the same reporter at Reuters is deliberately leaving out critical facts to fit their narrative. This time, they’ve raised questions about our compliance policies for preventing and tackling cryptocurrency-based financing of terrorism. This is a topic we take very seriously and want to use this opportunity to set the record straight.
The bottom-line is that we are not aware of any exchange – or other financial institution for that matter – that does more today to keep bad actors off their platform than Binance. Our policies and processes comply with AMLD5/6 anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing requirements and we have a robust compliance program that incorporates sophisticated anti-money laundering and global sanctions principles and tools to detect and address suspicious activity. We even have specialists on our team who have focused their entire careers on counter-terrorism.
An often overlooked fact (or perhaps in this case, deliberately ignored) is that it’s not possible for a crypto exchange (or anyone) to block or reverse a digital asset deposit once a transaction has been verified on the blockchain. This is a fundamental feature of all digital asset transactions. The true measures of compliance for a crypto exchange are the steps it takes to identify and react to suspicious deposits, and it is in these areas that Binance is an industry leader. When we learn of bad behavior, we intervene and take appropriate action, including freezing funds and working with law enforcement to support investigations.
Now, as it relates specifically to the cases raised in the story: Because of the nature of law enforcement cases, we must be very careful what we share. These kinds of investigations are ongoing and we want to ensure we’re making law enforcement’s jobs easier, not harder. However, we can say unequivocally that we've been working closely with international counter-terrorism authorities on these seizures.
With regard to the specific organizations mentioned in the article, it's important to clarify that bad actors don't register accounts under the names of their criminal enterprises. This is why our team collaborates with law enforcement, and leverages information that is only available to them in order to identify individuals operating accounts for illicit organizations.
The blockchain has proven to be one of the most powerful tools for law enforcement’s anti-money laundering efforts. The immutable, public nature of the blockchain makes crypto a poor choice for money laundering because it allows law enforcement to uncover and trace money laundering far more easily than cash transactions. You simply cannot move large sums of money into crypto without people noticing.
Binance currently has more than 750 compliance-supporting employees, many with prior law enforcement and regulatory agency backgrounds. So far this year, we have already helped law enforcement to freeze/seize more $1 billion. Almost half of our compliance team are involved in sanctions control work such as anti-money laundering, name screening, Know Your Customer (KYC) onboarding and on-chain monitoring.
At the end of the day, these are challenging issues in which we have invested heavily on behalf of our users. Our team and systems have improved significantly over the past several years and we remain committed to leading the industry in efforts to keep bad actors entirely out of crypto. This tireless effort will not stop at Binance as we are proud of our team’s work with law enforcement around the globe to make the world a safer place.