US govt probes Crypto exchange, Binance for alleged money-laundering, tax evasion

The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, Binance, is under investigation for alleged money laundering and tax evasion in the United States.

US prosecutors alleged Binance is being used by criminals for transaction.

The exchange is also under investigation for allowing US citizens to trade cryptocurrency on its platform despite directive that US residents cannot trade the digital assets on platforms not registered on the country’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Bloomberg which quoted reports from Chainalysis Inc on Thursday said the probes are being conducted by the US Justice Department, the Internal Revenue Service and the CFTC.

Chainalysis Inc. is blockchain forensics firm that works for several clients including federal agencies in the US. The firm released a report that Binance accounts for 27 percent of $2.8 billion crypto linked to criminal suspects in 2019.

The report said Binance percentage was about $756 million. Cryptocurrency has become popular in the criminal world due to its untraceable model.

The most recent crime involving cryptocurrency is the $5 million worth of crypto paid by Colonial Pipeline Co. to East European hackers which conducted a cyber-attack on the company for ransom.

However, Binance has denied any wrongdoings, with its founder, Changpeng Zhao, saying the company works according to US rules by ensuring Americans don’t access its channel.

The company’s spokesperson, Jessica Jung, said Binance works with law enforcement and regulators.

He said: “We have worked hard to build a robust compliance program that incorporates anti-money laundering principles and tools used by financial institutions to detect and address suspicious activity.”

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