The biggest cryptocurrency exchange platform in the world, Binance, has been helping criminals launder millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies between 2017 and 2021 according to a report from Reuters on Monday.
Blockchain analytics companies Crystal Blockchain and Chainalysis worked with Reuters to track down ill-gotten gains from cryptocurrency wallets all the way to Binance. Binance was used by criminals to launder money, according to the investigation, which included interviews with law enforcement authorities and a review of court papers.
At least $5.4 million was taken from Eterbase, a lesser-known cryptocurrency exchange in Slovakia, by the North Korean cybercrime gang Lazarus group, according to Reuters. So, Binance had no idea what was going on since they were using anonymous accounts, according to reports. Eterbase subsequently went out of business and went into bankruptcy protection.
This isn’t the first time the exchange has been mentioned in connection with a drug-fueled scam. Media from Hydra found that Binance was the preferred destination to accept payments because of the little information necessary to open an account.
Since 2017, Binance has handled an estimated total of 2,358 million dollars worth of transactions that were affected by contaminated crypto.
The state-sponsored Lazarus Group was also found to be responsible for the $625 million robberies on Sky Mavis’ Ethereum sidechain Ronin, which authorities in the United States uncovered earlier this year. In late April, Binance was able to retrieve some of these monies.
Patrick Hillmann, the exchange’s Chief Communications Officer, claimed the numbers were erroneous and exaggerated. Furthermore, according to Hillmann, Binance employs systems for transaction monitoring and risk assessment to ensure that any fraudulently obtained cryptocurrency is promptly recovered and restored to its rightful owners.
As far as anti-money laundering regulations go, the company has the most stringent. This worldwide exchange will assist law enforcement to remove criminal organizations employing crypto, according to Hillmann.