Merit Peak, firm at heart of Reuters report, operated on Binance.US, exchange admits

Quick Take

  • Binance.US in a statement Thursday night claimed it is subjected to regular audits, and acknowledged that an investment firm alleged to have received over $400 million from a Binance.US account operated on the platform in 2021. 
  • The statement following a bombshell Reuters report that Binance secretly transferred more than $400 million in funds from its supposedly independent affiliate to another firm controlled by CEO Changpeng Zhao. 

Binance.US, the U.S. affiliate of the world’s largest crypto exchange, acknowledged that a market making firm called Merit Peak, which is alleged to have secretly received $400 million from the exchange, operated on its platform. 

“While there was a market making firm named Merit Peak that operated on the Binance.US platform, it stopped all activity on the platform in 2021,” the company tweeted in response to a bombshell Reuters report earlier in the day that said the funds were withdrawn from the bank account of the exchange's U.S. affiliate during the first three months of 2021. 

“Binance.US has never — and will never — trade nor lend out customer funds,” the statement adds.“Only Binance.US employees have access to Binance.US bank accounts. Period.”

The Reuters report said parent company Binance secretly transferred hundreds of millions in funds from a Binance.US account at California-based Silvergate Bank to Merit Peak, an investment firm also controlled by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.


Keep up with the latest news, trends, charts and views on crypto and DeFi with a new biweekly newsletter from The Block's Frank Chaparro

By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Binance, which is not authorized to operate in the U.S., insists that Binance.US operates as a wholly independent affiliate.

“Our leadership team is staffed with former DOJ, SEC, FBI, and NYFed employees who are committed to operating a platform that is safe and abides by U.S. laws and regulations,” Binance.US said in its statement. The statement also claims that Binance.US fully reserves its assets, and is subject to “regular audits”.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Colin oversees and contributes policy, regulatory, political, and legal coverage for The Block. Before joining The Block he covered congressional economic policy, including fintech legislation, for Bloomberg Industry Group and Politico, with additional stints at the Washington Examiner and American Banker. Colin is an alumnus of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and Sewanee: The University of the South. 


To contact the editor of this story:
Madhu Unnikrishnan at
[email protected]