Binance CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao ignored concerns raised by senior employees over the exchange’s weak know-your-customer (KYC) checks, amid a catalogue of other regulatory shortcomings, a Reuters investigation has found.

The news agency claimed that senior Binance executives—including Chief Compliance Officer Samuel Lim and former Global Money Laundering Reporting Officer Karen Leong—raised concerns about the exchange’s weak KYC checks. Three former Binance employees told Reuters they brought these concerns to the attention of CZ, but he “ignored them.”

Binance has long since been in the crosshairs of regulators around the world. Decrypt has previously reported on Binance’s multiple compliance shortcomings, which have raised the ire of regulators in the United Kingdom, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore and many other jurisdictions. Reuters’ investigation spans many of these jurisdictions and has shed light on some of the inner workings behind the exchange’s relationship with regulators.

Reuters also found that some Binance staff—including Leong and Lim—were aware that Binance’s KYC procedures were not rigorous. 

In one message sent in mid-2019, Leong said CZ wanted “no kyc.” Leong also said “Reduce KYC. Raise Limits. BEST COMBO,” in the same message. Lim, in turn, reportedly expressed doubts about CZ’s plan to move into the “fiat-to-crypto” market. “Damn why touch fiat if dont wanna be compliant. So ironic LOL. Just stay full crypto man. Jizzus.” 


Binance’s regulatory woes begin in Malta. 

In October 2018, Binance…

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