China has been signaling to Binance for quite some time now that they aren’t welcome, but the underhanded exchange has repeatedly tried to rebuild a presence in the country. China sent that message once again, and emphatically, by raiding and shutting down the Binance Shanghai offices.
The Block reports police raided Binance’s offices at some point in the past few weeks, forcing the location to shut down permanently. As a result, employees have either relocated to Singapore, including CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) and CMO Yi He, or they’ve been forced to work remotely in unnamed locations. Altogether, nearly 100 employees had to find a new place to plug in.
But you’d never know it if you asked Binance directly. In response to the story, a spokesperson said “We don’t have entities in China, most of us work remotely in China.” This denial comes despite members of the media having seen evidence of the office.
It also makes a recent tweet from CZ quite curious, taken in the context that he may have had to flee Chinese authorities recently:
Office and HQ are old concepts like SMS and MMS. Time is moving on…
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) November 20, 2019
The Shanghai offices may have been a part of Binance’s recent push to establish a bigger business in China. But Chinese authorities and other businesses have been quite clear that the exchange, which has run away from regulation and has participated in questionable practice, is not welcome there. Weibo recently shut down Binance accounts, accusing them of breaking local laws.
This rogue attitude from the Binance exchange can be easily seen in their lax anti-money laundering and know your customer (KYC) rules, but also in their enthusiasm for crypto speculation. These elements can be best evidenced by their fear of a regulatory friendly coin like Bitcoin SV (BSV), and help explain why China would want them out. China is now blockchain friendly, but not criminal friendly.
Why would CZ mentioned headquarters are old concepts? It’s entirely likely that Binance global headquarters, based in Malta, has very little time left. The EU Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) would prohibit much of Binance’s business model starting in 2020, and see CZ on the run once again.
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