The repercussions from FTX’s massive failure continue to expand, and anxiety and fear have now reached FTX’s great rival, Binance exchnage.
In the most recent bump in the road, global accountancy firm Mazars suddenly stopped validating Binance’s “proof of reserves,” a document intended to show the business has enough cash on hand to support customer funds. According to Binance, Mazars, which was recognized for cutting ties with former President Donald Trump relatively early this year, stopped its work for all crypto businesses on Friday. This article is all about the Binance exchange and whether is it on the verge of collapsing. Let’s take a look at it in more detail.
Binance Exchange and its Proof-Of-Reserves Report
BREAKING‼️ Binance auditor deletes the “Proof of Reserves” assessment from its website and pauses ALL work with crypto clients – including CryptoCom and KuCoin – Coindesk 🤔
— Bitcoin Archive (@BTC_Archive) December 16, 2022
Clients depleted billions of dollars from the Binance exchange last week, which is just one of the reasons that the company is under investigation in the immediate wake of the FTX implosion.
Concerned investors are monitoring for warning signs following the demise of FTX, the once-$32 billion crypto dynasty established by Sam Bankman-Fried. A few are worried that gaps are starting to appear at Binance.
Binance has had a rough few weeks. With humongous withdrawals, a possible future money-laundering court case, and questions about the exchange’s proof-of-reserves, the exchange has experienced a shitload in the last month or so. New concerns have surfaced about a $2.1 billion FTX repayment, which CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) rejected prudently.
Mazars, the auditing firm that collaborates with main cryptocurrency exchange Binance, stated on Friday that it has stopped all research for crypto industry players. Earlier this month, the audit team conducted a so-called proof-of-reserves inspection on Binance’s bitcoin assets, revealing that its reserves on only one day in late November were overcollateralized. The link to the report on Mazar’s website, however, was no longer active at the moment of publication.
Here are the three things you should know about what’s progressing at Binance and why the cryptocurrency market is worried about Binance’s possible fall.
The US Justice Department is looking into Binance’s adherence to securities fraud legislation. According to Reuters, investigators are evaluating whether to initiate criminal proceedings against the founder of the company, Changpeng Zhao, and other top execs. These would include conspiracy to evade taxes, illegal money transmission, and criminal sanctions infringements. According to Reuters, Binance filtered more than $10 billion in accounting fraud in 2022 and tried to avoid regulatory bodies, which the crypto giant rejected.
Clients withdrew a total of $3 billion in funds in a single day
*BINANCE CUSTOMER WITHDRAWALS EXCEED $3 BILLION IN THE LAST 24 HOURS AMID FTX CONTAGION FEARS pic.twitter.com/iwmmzVQBcw
— Investing.com (@Investingcom) December 14, 2022
Binance has witnessed a huge increase in withdrawals in recent times as fears about its deposits and a DOJ inquiry flourished. In the meantime, the arrest of FTX founding member Bankman-Fried decayed confidence in virtual currency even further.
Binance 24H net outflow has increased to $3B
Their disclosed holdings show that they have over $62.5B as of now: https://t.co/x1ITMCFg26 pic.twitter.com/PG4C85hmSV
— Nansen 🧭 (@nansen_ai) December 13, 2022
According to Nansen data, Binance had its daily maximum withdrawals since June on Tuesday, with a total combined cash outflow of $3 billion within only 24 hours. The exchange was compelled to temporarily suspend USD Coin withdrawals while this risen its stocks of the stablecoin.
As per Nansen, the crypto exchange kept $69.5 billion in crypto assets in publicly announced wallets just over a month later. Due to significant withdrawals and price volatility, the total has soared to $54.7 billion, based on the report.
Binance CEO says this is “business as usual”
FUD helps us grow, even though they are thoroughly annoying.
You can FUD about someone without explicitly mentioning their name, which spreads awareness.
It also helps unite their supporters because it forms a common defense alliance.
Short thread. 1/4 https://t.co/PlxhqV5cZS
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) December 13, 2022
Zhao, also recognized as “CZ,” has accelerated his initiatives to soothe clients’ fears about Binance’s bank reserves. He’s tried to fight back against everything he calls “FUD” — the dispersion of unreasonable fear, lack of certainty, and confusion.
We saw some withdrawals today (net $1.14b ish). We have seen this before. Some days we have net withdrawals; some days we have net deposits. Business as usual for us.
I actually think it is a good idea to “stress test withdrawals” on each CEX on a rotating basis. 💪
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) December 13, 2022
Zhao simply brushed off the massive cash outflow from the exchange as “business as usual”. And, after Binance tried to lift its restriction on USDC deposits, he categorized the incidents as a “stress test” of the exchange’s persistence.
What is the future of Binance?
After a report expressed concern about FTX’s financial affairs and its complicated relationship with Alameda Research, the private hedge fund established by Sam Bankman-Fried, CZ decided to dispose of his holdings in FTT, a cryptocurrency formed by FTX. This provoked a banking crisis, and with FTX’s future unsure, Binance agreed to sign a non-binding letter of intent to procure FTX.
Moments later, CZ backtracked on that proposal, essentially ending FTX. Binance has gone to great pains since then to highlight its economic stability.
Mazars was appointed to audit the company’s figures, and it, like its contemporaries such as Crypto.com, utilized proofs of reserve to display that it had sufficient reserve funds on hand to back up customer funds. Mazars has decided to cease propping up those proofs for any cryptocurrency firm, at least momentarily, because the public does not comprehend that the reports are very restricted, according to a comment issued on Friday.
Binance’s proof of reserves report was widely condemned because it did not contain a comprehensive or executive audit. It also did refer to a screenshot of the exchange’s resources at a particular point in time without divulging its debts.
While the crypto business has been pretty calm in terms of hacks and missteps in recent months, the percentage of user withdrawals implies that confidence in centralized exchanges has started suffering. Add to that the phenomenal display of the Committee hearings into the FTX implosion and the arrest of its creator Sam Bankman-Fried on felonious equities charges of fraud, and the leftover centralized exchanges will probably continue to be put under the microscope by both their clients and enforcement agencies for the near future. The golden age of obfuscated exchange functions is obviously over.
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