The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, Binance, revealed in an interview that it plans to pay fines to end ongoing regulatory and law enforcement inquiries into its US operations.
In what appears to be an admission of breaking the law, Binance Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Hillmann told the WSJ that the company's executives were unaware of the rules and laws governing bribery, corruption, and money laundering.
Binance anticipates paying fines for earlier transgressions as a result, and is "working with regulators to find out what are the remediations we have to go through now to make up for that,". The punishment may vary from "like a fine" to "may be more."
Binance is one of several big exchanges that are being looked into in the US for their cryptocurrency services. The exchange, which lacks a global headquarters, began functioning in China in 2017. The company's executive team, including founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao, visited China after the country outlawed cryptocurrency exchanges. Hillmann claims that American traders are currently unable to utilize Binance.
Reuters reports that the US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington has been investigating Binance since at least 2018, despite the fact that regulatory scrutiny has grown since the collapse of FTX, a competing cryptocurrency, in November. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is said to have issued subpoenas to at least two trading companies in recent months demanding records of their earlier dealings with Binance US.
Binance openly denied the claim that Reuters was "wrong again" and that the news agency was "attacking our law enforcement team, a team that we're incredibly proud of."
Hillmann said the exchange is "very confident and feeling pretty optimistic about where those negotiations are going," but he added that he was unable to forecast the quantity of fines or the likely timescale for Binance and US regulators to reach a deal, stated Hillmann.
"It will be a good moment for our company because it allows us to put it behind us,”
When it becomes more evident to the public that not everything is working well for the company, Binance has adjusted its strategy. The SEC has alerted Paxos, the business that develops BUSD stablecoin for Binance, that legal action will be taken against it for this issuance.
The New York Department of Financial Services ordered Paxos to stop issuing new BUSD coins earlier this week.
One of the biggest US exchanges, Kraken, consented last week to pay the SEC $30 million in fines in order to resolve a civil investigation into its staking investment program. Kraken has made the decision to stop offering staking to US customers while refusing to acknowledge or deny wrongdoing.