Binance users traded $90 billion worth of cryptocurrency-related assets in May in China despite crypto trading being banned in the country since 2021, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported, citing internal figures and current and former employees.
China Is Binance’s Biggest Market
According to the report, the transaction volume made China Binance’s largest market, accounting for 20% of the total global trading volume, excluding trades made by a subset of very large traders. Trailing China is South Korea, with a 13% share, followed by Turkey with 10%, the report said.
According to WSJ, China’s importance for Binance is openly discussed internally within the company, and the exchange’s investigations team works with authorities to identify potential criminal activity among the more 900,000 active users in the country. Per the report, Binance had 5.6 million registered users in the country, including 911,650 active users and about 100,000 Chinese users classified as politically exposed persons (PEPs).
Binance Helped Chinese Users Bypass Restrictions
The WSJ report stated that Binance also helped China users evade restrictions by directing them to visit different websites with Chinese domain names before rerouting them to the global exchange.
Binance has also in the past taken a soft approach in verifying the identity of its China-based users, with only less than 50% of users undergoing know-your-customer (KYC) checks, the report said.
Meanwhile, the company’s spokesman commented on these claims, saying that “the Binance.com website is blocked in China and is not accessible to China-based users.”
The latest report comes as Binance faces increased regulatory pressure in multiple countries. In June, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued the exchange and founder, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), for allegedly operating illegally and misappropriating customers’ funds. The exchange is also under scrutiny by other top U.S. regulators, including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
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