Current U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler was offered an advisory role at Binance in 2018 and 2019
Gary Gensler, the acting Chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), was allegedly offered an advisory position at Binance in 2018 and 2019, as indicated by internal messages inspected by The Wall Street Journal.
Despite Gensler’s refusal, he reportedly shared licensing strategies with the cryptocurrency giant.
The revelation emerges amid scrutiny of Binance by US regulators, who are investigating whether the exchange violated securities laws by allowing US investors to trade on its platform.
While Binance and its US subsidiary, Binance.US, have persistently insisted that they are separate entities, internal communications obtained by the Journal seem to suggest otherwise.
The posts show that Binance and Binance.US were “deeply connected,” with staff, technology, and finance mixed between the two companies.
The former Binance.US CEO, who first claimed the companies were “very separate,” then asked staff to provide points on their work that Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and co-founder Wei Zhou should know.
Additionally, a Binance executive suggested ways the exchange could retain its biggest US customers, including making them use virtual private networks (VPNs) and offshore entities.
Binance also encountered operational issues in its early days. Just before Binance.US went live, a Binance staff member in Shanghai accidentally activated trading. When asked who did it, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao reportedly replied, “one guy here in Shanghai, an operation error.”
Internal posts also reveal that Binance and Binance.US staff mixed during a retreat, with the then-CEO of Binance.US asking staff to think about “your chains (elements of your job that require SH responses, access, approval, funding)”. “SH” refers to Shanghai, according to a person familiar with the matter.
As for Gensler, his tenure at the SEC has been marked by heightened scrutiny of the cryptocurrency industry. He called for greater regulation of digital assets, arguing that they are often used to evade traditional financial rules.