Binance no longer states that it burns 20% of its profits each quarter in its BNB token. The crypto exchange originally wrote in its whitepaper that it would continue to do so until the supply of BNB was cut in half, but this clause was quietly removed in March, last year.
Due to the lack of transparency, it has led to confusion by crypto analysts—even Decrypt—who continued to assume that its quarterly burns were a reflection of its quarterly profits.
"The whitepaper says we burn BNB based on a percentage of our trading volume but we no longer have 20% written in the white paper itself," a Binance spokesperson told Decrypt, adding, "But it’d be more accurate to say that people assume it’s 20% and calculate backwards."
The "same amount will be destroyed ultimately, it’s just we don’t share profit numbers anymore since we’re a private company anyway and aren’t obligated to. Based on legal advice we don’t talk about profit," she said.
The whitepaper originally stated, "Every quarter, we will use 20% of our profits to buy back BNB and destroy them, until we buy 50% of all the BNB (100MM) back."
However, the current version of the whitepaper now says, "Every quarter, we will destroy BNB based on the trading volume on our crypto-to-crypto platform until we destroy 50% of all the BNB."
Ryan Selkis, CEO of data analysis site Messari—which published research on the burn today—took to Twitter to complain that Binance was not forthcoming with the news. "I don’t like it when we’re wrong, and this is an example of why we’ve been pushing teams for standardized disclosures."
However, some commentators are still unsure whether Binance is still burning 20% of its profits—but simply not saying so. "Yes, they changed the whitepaper. It no longer specifies how many coins are being burnt and how they’re acquired. That doesn’t mean that they do not in practice follow the letter of the original wording, though," Reckless Review podcast host Udi Wertheimer tweeted. But, whether they are burning 20% or 80%, the short answer is: We don't know.