Binance and Huobi have the same owner?

Not everyone in the cryptocurrency industry is comfortable with Binance, and a few have some questions about the relationships the exchange keeps. One researcher has painted a picture of some of those relationships, and while it provides some clarity, it also leads to more questions, particularly where Huobi is concerned.

Twitter user hash.fail (@ZeroNoncense) posted a ten part thread on September 12, starting with Binance’s connection to Prime Trust, the company helping them integrate stablecoins.

From there, it doesn’t take too many steps to reach a connection to Huobi. Prime Trust are also custodians for Koi Trading, located at the exact same address as BAM Trading Services. Hao Chen and Harry Zhou, both executives for Huobi, are also the founders of Koi Trading and involved with Bam Trading. They also were responsible for a Binance deal with Prime Trust in February, 2019.

The research also shows that Prime Trust lists Koi Trust as a partner, as well as TrueUSD (TUSD). From there, there is a link between TUSD and 55.com, both created by the same man. Simon Grunfeld is the SVP of Business Operations for 55, but also the founder of Ibinex and Gallant Capital. That company is linked to Global Trade Solutions (GTS), who are in potential trouble for money laundering.

Finally, hash.fail also links Grunfeld to the Daollar group, where Joe Vellanikaran is currently CEO. Vellanikaran was also formerly the GM of TUSD.

That’s a lot of connections, and a few of them are potentially unfortunate. In a game of Six Degrees, Binance is an incredible one or two degrees of separation from Huobi, and then only a couple more from a company federally indicted for money laundering charges.

So how closely knit are these companies? Is Binance owned by the same people, or are they working incredibly closely together? Does either exchange have ties to Global Trade Solutions, and any involvement in their alleged money laundering? Is everyone involved in these companies a little too familiar with each other, and too close for comfort?

When billions of dollars are at play, customers have a right to know what kind of business relationships their financial exchanges are keeping, and if everything is on the up and up. These are all important questions that need answers.

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