Amid a storm sparked by a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) wrote an open letter to his employees. The letter, a beacon of transparency and resilience, addresses the allegations head-on, clarifies misconceptions sparked by recent chat leaks, and reaffirms Binance’s unwavering commitment to its users.
CZ challenges SEC’s ‘absurd’ use of employee conversations as legal evidence
In a recent internal letter to Binance employees, CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) addressed the ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit. The lawsuit, which has been heavily discussed, was fueled by a leaked conversation between Binance’s former compliance officer, Sam Lim, and former business development manager, Alvin. The chat suggested that Binance was operating as an unlicensed exchange in the United States and that its native token, BNB, could potentially drop to zero.
In the viral discussions which became a focal point of the SEC lawsuit, Alvin was advised by Sam Lim to convert his bonus BNB to USDT, citing the compliance side of the business as a “sinking ship”. Lim expressed discomfort with the risk-reward balance and reluctance to endorse OFAC compliance matters.
Lim revealed that CFO Wei Zhou offered him the position of chief compliance officer (CCO), with the promise of double pay, but he declined. He hinted that Zhou and CZ were fully aware of the reasons for the reluctance to endorse OFAC reports. Lim, as a top compliance officer at the time, candidly said, “There’s no fucking way we can get clean,” adding that he hadn’t seen any evidence of the opposite.
CZ’s letter, which was obtained exclusively by Odaily Planet Daily, highlighted Binance’s commitment to transparency and cooperation with investigators. He clarified that Binance does not monitor employee chats and expressed surprise at the SEC’s use of those chats as evidence, calling it “absurd.”
Binance’s legal team will deal with the SEC
In response to the viral threads, CZ addressed the issue head-on. He acknowledged the damage done to Binance’s reputation by what he called a “personal” complaint filed by two people five years ago. He assured everyone that Binance is fully cooperating with investigators, who typically request chat histories as part of their investigations. He pointed out that anything said could potentially end up in court or on the internet.
He criticized the SEC’s use of the chat as a poster case, but said he was confident to let the company’s legal team handle the case.
Additionally, CZ encouraged any employees dissatisfied with their role at Binance to speak with their managers and consider their career options. He urged them not to waste their energy on tasks they don’t like because it won’t lead to good performance. He stressed the importance of loving your job and committing to Binance’s “freedom of money” mission, especially given the challenges ahead.
He reassured his team and users that Binance has always upheld high ethical standards and will never compromise on the protection of its users.
Despite ongoing legal challenges, CZ’s letter underscored the company’s commitment to its users. He shared a tweet about Binance Pay’s recent partnership with Credencial Payments in Latin America, which allows users to pay with cryptocurrencies in real time. The tweet garnered a lot of support from users, demonstrating the strong community Binance has built over the years.