Binance’s 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) of its Binance Coin (BNB) reportedly raised less than US$5 million, contrary to the US$15 million claimed by the company and its Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao. 

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Fast Facts

  • Binance coin (BNB) is the exchange’s native token that was launched through an ICO in 2017 with a maximum supply of 200 million tokens. It was originally released on the Ethereum blockchain but later migrated to Binance’s own blockchain.
  • Binance claimed it sold 100 million BNB tokens during the ICO at 15 cents per coin, raising US$15 million.
  • However, according to a Forbes investigation conducted with the assistance of two blockchain forensic firms, Binance’s crypto wallets transferred a total of 10.78 million BNBs to investor wallets in the summer of 2017, not 100 million.
  • Forbes said an additional 20 million coins have subsequently been transferred to angel investor wallets, doubling their allocation to 40 million BNB. Binance was left with 145 million of its newly-minted BNB coins by September 2018, instead of the initially planned 80 million, while the unsold 65 million coins, worth less than US$10 million at the time, would now be worth over US$14 billion.
  • Binance did not immediately Forkast’s request for comment.
  • Binance has been under the regulatory microscope in various jurisdictions, including the U.S., where Binance was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission earlier this year. Binance.US, the exchange’s U.S. affiliate, cut one-third of its employees in September, while also losing its then-chief executive officer, Brian Shroder.
  • In September, Binance said it would change its euro banking partner two weeks after Binance France was reportedly investigated for money laundering. In Australia, the country’s securities watchdog canceled the local branch’s derivatives license in April, a day after receiving the cancelation request from the exchange.
  • BNB fell 0.11% in the 24 hours leading up to 3:25 p.m. in Hong Kong, to US$212, according to CoinMarketCap data

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