Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, is under investigation by the Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service, according to Bloomberg.
The exact subject of the investigation hasn't been confirmed, but officials who typically handle money laundering and tax offenses are reportedly involved. The IRS probe is not only targeting Binance users but potentially employees of the company as well, according to Bloomberg's sources.
Binance has been dogged by regulators for years—it's currently under investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission over whether it knowingly allowed US customers to trade on its non-U.S. platform. The company claims that it actively prevents U.S. residents from accessing investment products that would be required to be registered with the CFTC if traded in the U.S., and that it follows all legal and regulatory requirements within the jurisdictions that it operates.
"We take our legal obligations very seriously and engage with regulators and law enforcement in a collaborative fashion," the company said in statement posted to its Twitter account. "We have worked hard to build a robust compliance program that incorporates anti-money laundering principles and tools used by financial institutions to detect and address suspicious activity," it said.
In October of last year, Forbes published a story outlining what it claimed were Binance’s plans for avoiding U.S. regulators. Binance responded by suing the publisher for defamation, though the company has since dropped the lawsuit.
Changpeng Zhao, the company’s CEO, is famously cagey about where exactly the company is based. Binance is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, but Zhao maintains it has no official headquarters. Coinbase, a product of Silicon Valley, recently made a similar assertion.
Editor's note: This article was updated after publication to provide additional details regarding the IRS and DOJ investigations and to include comment from Binance.
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