Crypto

Boris Johnson’s Brother Quits As Binance Advisor Amid Crypto Meltdown

Boris Johnson’s brother Jo has advised cryptocurrency exchange Binance as it strives to launch its exchange in the UK, according to official records.

Lord Johnson of Marylebone took part in the UK advisory board of one of Binance’s subsidiaries in September, The Telegraph can reveal.

He stepped down last week amid growing pressure on Binance’s financial transparency and amid a deepening crisis in the cryptocurrency industry.

Former Universities Minister Lord Johnson served as an adviser to Bifinity, a payments firm founded by Binance, alongside Lord Vaizey, the former digital minister, according to their parliamentary statements. Lord Vaizey is also a member of Binance’s Global Advisory Board.

The involvement of two former government ministers highlights efforts by the offshore cryptocurrency firm to bolster its legitimacy with regulators and politicians after falling victim to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) last year.

Binance, which is the largest cryptocurrency platform in the world, has been prevented by the FCA from launching a British division for the sake of transparency. The watchdog has issued three separate warnings regarding Binance’s activities.

The company is also under intense scrutiny from US authorities, who are apparently considering criminal sanctions against it. Binance declined to comment on the US investigation.

On Monday, when asked if he was still working with Bifinity, Lord Johnson said he had quit. He told the Telegraph: ‘I left the advisory board last week and have no role there. [or] any related entity.

A Binance spokesperson said, “Lord Johnson recently assumed the role of Executive Chairman of FutureLearn. He will focus on his new role within the digital learning platform and is looking to scale back other activities. »

Lord Johnson’s resignation comes amid growing concern over crypto following the FTX failurewhich was the second largest exchange after Binance.

The collapse has sent shockwaves through the cryptocurrency world as rival exchanges rush to reassure customers.

Binance, which is registered in the Cayman Islands, released a report last month detailing its financial support in digital coins, engaging auditors Mazars to perform a “proof of reserves” report.

On Friday, however, that report was deleted and wiped from the web as Mazars “temporarily” suspended work with cryptocurrency firms and dropped Binance as a client.

Last week, Binance suffered $6 billion in customer exits from nervous traders.

Bifinity, headquartered in Lithuania, was launched by Binance in March this year to provide services for converting traditional currencies like Pounds and Dollars into digital coins. Bifinity was described as “part of the Binance group” in a filing with US regulators in April. The filing indicates that its sole shareholder was Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ, CEO of Binance.

The company provides a digital wallet to UK customers under an agreement with payment company Skrill. Bifinity has also worked with payments provider Paysafe to provide access to the UK’s “faster payments” network.

In March, Bifinity provided funding to a UK crypto firm, prompting a warning from the FCA that Binance posed a “significant risk” to UK consumers.

Lord Johnson currently has four directorships and eight jobs, including his role in Bifinity, listed on his official parliamentary register of interests.

His brother, the former prime minister, appeared at a conference for cryptocurrency enthusiasts in Singapore last month.

In July, Lord Vaizey told the House of Lords that it was a “tragedy that the FCA is not working harder to regulate crypto companies,” according to Hansard records.

Separately, on Monday, the US division of Binance said it had reached an agreement to buy the assets of a bankrupt cryptocurrency company for $1 billion. Binance.US was selected as the highest and highest bidder for the assets of Voyager Digital, which collapsed in July. Its assets were to be acquired by FTX, but that deal fell through when FTX also went bankrupt.

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