Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, is reportedly being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service.
Officials who investigate money laundering and tax offenses have sought information from individuals with insight into Binance’s business, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News.
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The officials involved include prosecutors within the Justice Department’s bank integrity unit and investigators from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle, the news service reported.
Bloomberg reported that the specifics of what the agencies are examining couldn’t be determined, and not all inquiries lead to allegations of wrongdoing.
A Binance spokeswoman said in an email to TheStreet that while Binance does not comment on specific matters or inquiries, “we take our legal obligations very seriously and engage with regulators and law enforcement in a collaborative fashion.”
“We have worked hard to build a robust compliance program that incorporates anti-money laundering principles and tools used by financial institutions to detect and address suspicious activity,” she said. “We have a strong track record of assisting law enforcement agencies around the world, including in the United States.”
Chainalysis, a blockchain forensics firm, said last year that Binance and the cryptocurrency exchange Huobi “lead all exchanges in illicit Bitcoin received by a significant margin.”
The tokenized versions of the two company’s stocks enabled traders to purchase tiny fractions of shares and trade them faster than they would normal shares through normal brokerage platforms.
Tesla stock tokens became available on Binance in April.
Bloomberg reported in March that Binance was facing an investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
At issue was whether Binance permitted Americans to make forbidden derivatives trades, as the firm isn’t registered with the CFTC.
The CFTC deemed cryptocurrencies to be commodities and the agency thus considers itself an overseer of Binance’s derivatives.