Crypto exchange Binance moved about $400 million in funds from Binance US’s Silvergate Bank account to a trading firm called Merit Peak, Reuters reported Thursday.
According to the report, Binance moved the funds from BAM Trading’s Silvergate account between January and March 2021. BAM Trading is the name of the entity that operates Binance US. Merit Peak is a trading firm that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating for its ties to Binance.
Binance itself does not have the licenses to operate in the US
Former Binance US CEO Catherine Coley reportedly inquired about the funds and their transfers in late 2020. Coley left Binance US in April 2021 and has not held a public role at any crypto company since.
A Binance spokesperson told CoinDesk that it was “a Binance.US issue.” A spokesperson told Reuters the news organization had “outdated information” but did not seem to comment on the transfers.
While Binance US spokespersons did not respond to a request for comment, the company’s Twitter account tweeted that “only Binance.US employees can access Binance.US bank accounts”, noting that Merit Peak has not been active since 2021 on Binance US. The tweet did not appear to address many of the details in the Reuters report.
Shares of Silvergate (SI) are down 17% that day. Bitcoin (BTC) price remained around $25,000, up from the day’s trading.
UPDATE (February 16, 2023, 20:05 UTC): Adds market reaction.
UPDATE (February 17, 2023, 00:20 UTC): Adds Binance’s US tweet.