Binance, the giant cryptocurrency exchange, is caught in an inevitable downturn. From regulatory crackdowns to executive walkouts, the firm’s multifaceted issues could have industry-wide implications. Here’s a comprehensive look at how one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world is becoming an FTX-like cautionary tale.
January: The BUSD blunder
The year kicked off with Binance owning up to a $1 billion collateral shortfall in its stablecoin, BUSD. While the company claims to have “fixed” the issue, regulators and investors are left asking: How did this happen in the first place?
February: The Paxos Drama
Just when you’d think it couldn’t get worse, the New York Department of Financial Services and the SEC turned their eyes toward Paxos, the issuer of BUSD. The scrutiny led Binance to initiate a “phased wind-down” of BUSD, causing Coinbase to promptly suspend its trading.
March: Accusations Fly
Then the CFTC filed a lawsuit against both Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, alleging severe regulatory violations. The case has escalated both the legal complications and public scrutiny
April to May: Withdrawals and Investigations
April saw Binance U.S. back out of a significant acquisition deal with Voyager Digital. By May, the platform decided to shut its Canadian operations amid more serious allegations of mingling customer funds with company revenues.
June: The SEC Suit
A lawsuit filed by the SEC in June, presenting 13 charges with compelling evidence, hinted at a bleak future. Speculation erupted that CZ might be stepping down, with Richard Teng possibly in line to replace him.
July: The Great Executive Exodus
In a startling show of internal disarray, three top Binance executives—including the general counsel—resigned, citing disagreements with CZ’s handling of regulatory interactions.
August to September: Partnerships Severed, Executives Leave
Mastercard cut ties with Binance, and its credit card processor, Checkout.com, also halted its services. Meanwhile, Binance struggled to produce financial records as demanded by the SEC. On top of that, the firm’s head of product exits.
Now, the Questions on Everyone’s Mind
- With his personal fortune, could CZ prevent Binance from collapsing?
- CZ has a more solid reputation in Asia. Could this blind spot keep Binance afloat?
- Given the lack of clarity on customer deposit liabilities, is Binance about to collapse?
The coming months should provide some answers, but until then, all eyes remain fixed on this slow-moving train wreck.