FILE PHOTO: Representations of cryptocurrencies are seen in front of displayed Binance logo in this illustration taken November 10, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
A disagreement among U.S. Justice Department prosecutors will delay the conclusion of a long-running criminal investigation into the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, Reuters exclusively reported. Some prosecutors believe that there is already some evidence to prove that Binance has designed criminal behavior, so they need more time to review and collect more evidence.
Reuters quoted four people familiar with the matter as saying that prosecutors at the U.S. Department of Justice had disagreements over the Binance investigation. At least six federal prosecutors believe they have gathered evidence that the Binance exchange was involved in illegal activities. Criminal charges could be brought against executives, including Binance founder Changpeng Zhao. Other prosecutors believe that more time is needed to review the case, so they will delay the release of the conclusion of the criminal investigation of the Binance exchange.
It is reported that the direction of this federal investigation is mainly “money laundering” and “asset recovery”. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington and the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team in Seattle are investigating Binance for criminal involvement. Affected by this negative news, in the past 24 hours, there has been an outflow of US$1.6 billion (approximately HK$12.4 billion) from the Binance exchange.
Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange with more than 100 million registered users and offers trading pairs for more than 350 cryptocurrencies. The daily trading volume is as high as US$76 billion (approximately HK$591.2 billion). Recently, Binance took advantage of the World Cup to launch NFT in cooperation with the well-known football star Cristiano Ronaldo, entering the NFT trading market.