Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has more than 700 employees in its compliance team, which includes 170 staff working with law enforcement agencies to combat fraud, the head of Binance’s financial crime unit, Tigran Gambaryan, said Thursday. His comments come as Binance itself faces legal challenges in the U.S. for allegedly being non-compliant with securities laws.

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Fast facts

  • The financial crime compliance team at Binance alone processes 1,300 law enforcement requests a week, Gambaryan said at the Consensus 2023 crypto and blockchain conference in Austin, Texas.
  • A normal day includes “calls with investigators, conducting investigations on the blockchain, responding to questions and assisting users,” said Gambaryan.
  • “My team was just at Europol presenting at a government conference and all the work that we’ve done related to pig butchering cases,” he added. “Pig butchering” refers to fraud that combines investment schemes, romance scams and cryptocurrency fraud, according to the Michigan Department of the Attorney General. The “pig” is the victim of the fraud.  
  • Gambaryan said Binance has been successful in preventing hackers from North Korea from circumventing controls or identification requirements on the exchange.
  • However, about US$100 million worth of BNB tokens were siphoned off of the Binance-run BNB Chain in October. The perpetrators behind the hack were not identified.
  • Last month, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued Binance and its co-founder and chief executive, Changpeng Zhao for allegedly offering unregistered cryptocurrency derivatives in the U.S.
  • In a March 28 blog post in response, Zhao rejected the allegations, calling them “unexpected and disappointing” as the company had worked with the regulator for two years and blocks access to its services for U.S. residents.
  • Prior to the CFTC complaint, the exchange was probed by the Justice Department over potential anti-money-laundering law infractions and by the Securities and Exchange Commission over suspected sales of unregistered securities.

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