Crypto’s uses and misuses: Binance–Reuters quarrel raises questions

Crypto exchange Binance has courted controversy almost since its 2017 beginnings, and five years later, the dustups continue. On June 6, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission was reported to be investigating whether Binance Holdings broke United States securities rules in launching its digital tokens. Meanwhile, on the same day, Reuters published a scathing 4,700-word “special report” titled “How crypto giant Binance became a hub for hackers, fraudsters and drug traffickers.”

Binance almost immediately retorted to Reuters with a blog post of its own, warning about “authors and pundits who cherry pick data, rely on conveniently unverifiable ‘leaks’ from regulators, and feed into the cult of crypto paranoia for fame or financial gain.” For good measure, it published “Our Email Exchange With Reuters” — an extensive list of questions that it had received from Reuters reporters Angus Berwick and Tom Wilson for their special report, along with responses from Binance spokesperson Patrick Hillman.

All in all, the donnybrook between two heavyweights from different industries raised some questions not only about Binance — the crypto sector’s largest exchange — but also the global industry, including to what extent is money laundering a crypto sector problem and what does it mean if one of the industry’s top providers is in constant hot water with regulators and investigative journalists?

Maybe Binance is being unfairly targeted, but if not, are all cryptocurrency and blockchain players tarred now by the actions of one renegade player?

It’s worth recounting that after the report was published, other parties seized upon its findings. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, for instance, asked in an opinion column what cryptocurrencies as a class were really good for:

“OK, criminals seem to find crypto useful; a recent Reuters investigation found that over the past five years the crypto exchange Binance has laundered at least…

Read more at cointelegraph.com

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