The only truly tangible aspect of the largest crypto exchange platform, Binance, is its CEO- Changpeng Zhao. Other than CZ and his large Twitter personality, the rest of the billion-dollar company is more or less a giant ghost.
Since its founding in China, Binance has been hopping from one country to the other as regulations creeped upon them.
As of now, their ‘headquarters’ are said to be in Malta, the drug cartel capital of the world. It seems their ever-growing wealth and friends in high places have finally given them a playground in which to run free without the headaches of ‘rules and regulations.’
This move allowed the company to avoid laws that would limit the customer experiences, such as KYC check for U.S. customers, which are aimed at preventing money laundering, tax evasion, market manipulation. Binance users were basically given a free-for-all, allowing them to steal money with tactics like the pump and dumps, price-fixing, spoofing, wash trading and front running. CZ even encouraged his Binance customers who live in places in which Binance is outlawed to use VPN’s so they could access the platform. Not only is he a rule bender, but he loves encouraging others to follow suit.
And that truly is what Binance is known for- regulatory arbitrage. CZ himself readily admits Binance wishes to minimize government oversight, “we’re ok to do things very creatively to avowing unnecessary regulation,” he said. But his version of “creative” may bother those of us who are even slightly principled.
There is Binance’s history with listing-fees, which it turns out was more of a pay-to-play bribery system. There is there newly founded “Blockchain Charity Foundation,” which is run by Helen Hai, a woman known for human rights abuses, and has so little transparency that there is no way to make contact with the supposed recipients of the funds. There is the time they used their centralized power to freeze 12 billion TRX and vote themselves into becoming the highest-ranked Super Representative (SR) on the Tron (TRX) network.
The list of questionable behavior truly does go on and on. Despite it all, the platform continues to grow daily, with a constant increase of coins and users.
It is hard to understand how such an ostensibly shady business has somehow maintained a good reputation in most circles. However, if you combine the easy-to-use platform and the availability to trade more coins than any other exchange with CZ’s friendly Twitter personality that makes Binance look as innocent as a lamb, you may start to understand how the exchange is still growing.
They seem to have mastered the perfect external image and maintain a lack of transparency that allows CZ and his gang to get away with whatever whenever.