China is looking into the Binance office in Shanghai! China is looking into Binance offices in Shanghai after signaling to them that their presence is not welcome. Markets tumble and Bitcoin is down nearly 6%!
China has been sending Binance messages that they are not welcome for quite some time – they did so again by raiding and shutting down the Binance Shanghai office.
Binance employees have either relocated to Singapore, including Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) and CMO Yi He, or they’ve been forced to work remotely. Nearly 100 employees had to find a new place to plug into work.
But you will not hear any confirmation about this from Binance. According to a spokesperson from Binance: “We don’t have entities in China, most of us work remotely in China.” This denial comes even in the midst of the media seeing evidence of the Binance Office in Shanghai.
A recent tweet from CZ is also curious – taken in context, it fits what happened to the offices in Shanghai perfectly.
Office and HQ are old concepts like SMS and MMS. Time is moving on…
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) November 20, 2019
The Shanghai office was Binance’s recent push to establish a bigger presence in China, but the Chinese government and other authorities have been quite clear that their flippant attitudes regarding regulation and questionable practices is not welcome there. Weibo recently shut down Binance’s account, accusing them of breaking local laws.
The behavior in question is the lax anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) rules – as well as their enthusiasm for crypto speculation (IE actively promoting BCH over BSV). China has cemented itself as blockchain friendly – but not criminal friendly.
There’s another twist to anticipate in 2020 – and CZ’s tweet above might foreshadow this. Binance’s global headquarters is based in Malta and the EU Fifth Money Laundering Directive would prohibit much of Binance’s business model. We could see CZ on the run again.
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