One has got to wonder about Changpen Zhao’s perfectly crafted personality. One also must wonder how the king of the crypto world has enough downtime to man his Twitter page day and night.
It seems Changpen Zhao, affectionately known as CZ has realized that the only thing more important than Binance, is Binance’s reputation.
CZ presents himself and his Binance baby as trustworthy, law abiding, and most importantly, transparent. But it is usually those who are so obsessed with their image that have the most to hide.
And let’s be honest, even those of us that use Binance and worship CZ understand that his ‘organised kingdom’ is more of a wild west, and that Binance are the cowboys running the show.
Since its inception, Binance has been playing “around” the rules, a technique known as Regulatory Arbitrage. While regulators were chasing down and limiting their competitors, Binance was growing without interruption and without rule of law.
Sure, they faced some trouble in both China and the US, but they managed to stay semi-nomadic and one step ahead of the game. They finally ‘settled’ in Malta, the country known for it’s stunning coastline and its popularity with money launderers.
While Binance has maintained that all their activities have been legal, Florida-based attorney David Silver is not as sure. Silver, who is known for bringing class actions against numerous cryptocurrency companies, believes Binance has been playing with fire.
“The crypto-to-crypto aspect helps hide what they’re doing and makes it harder for regulators to catch them. They’re going to need to legitimize because the world isn’t going to let them move massive amounts of money through countries in which they’re not regulated but have active users. That will eventually come to bite them in the ass,” said Silver.
Another roadblock for Binance came in the form of the rumours regarding listing fees with many claiming they charged at least 400 BTC to list coins on the platform. Whenever CZ was asked directly, his answers were vague and indirect. Keeping a vague policy when it came to listing fees allowed Binance to change standards on the fly, do off the record deals protected by NDA’s, and exert even more power on their fellow crypto players.
However, the moment CZ realized that the listing fee question mark dented his reputation, he decided to take control of the narrative- announcing that all future listing fees would go directly to the new charity arm, the Blockchain Charity Foundation.
As we established- for Binance, reputation is everything and donating listing fees to charity? Huge points. But while it’s easy to be distracted by words like ‘donate’ and ‘charity’, a little scratch beneath the surface once again reveals the dodgier side to CZ’s crypto kingdom. The exact structure and operation of the BCF charity are patchy, the website is more of a holding page than a detailed document, and then we get to the women chosen to head the charity- Helen Hai.
Journalist Corin Faife looked into Hai and discovered she is the same woman that ran what was basically a sweatshop masked as a shoe manufacturing company- Huajian Group.Reports from numerous former workers and investigative journalists claimed that conditions were deplorable, the Ethiopian workers were disciplined military style, and the wages were lower than 40 euros a month. It is hard to believe that someone with that track record would be able to lead a charity with the stated UN goal of “reducing inequality within and among countries.”
But that’s the thing with Binance and CZ, they are so careful to cover their tracks and keep a squeaky-clean reputation on the surface level, that only those willing to do the work will discover some rather dirty secrets.
It makes sense CZ is so meticulous about manning his Twitter and responding to criticism within minutes, he understands what a fragile thing a reputation is, and he knows that the moment Binance’s name comes crashing down, a whole lot of questionable decisions will rise to the surface.
Name: David Corne