Binance’s Chief Communications Officer, Patrick Hillmann, has publicly refuted a Reuters report alleging that the cryptocurrency exchange had commingled customer funds with company revenue, a practice that could potentially obscure the tracking of customer funds. Hillmann took to Twitter to express his criticisms, characterizing the Reuters report as “weak” and full of “conspiracy theories”; Hillman tweeted:
Let me explain just how desperate a journalist @Reuters is to publish a negative story. The whole base of their story this morning, is that when users purchased BUSD (Paxos) from Binance, they were taken to a transaction page that had the term “deposit” on it. Users were making a…
— Patrick Hillmann (@PRHillmann) May 23, 2023
Patrick Hillmann, who previously held positions at General Electric and Edelman, is currently responsible for all of Binance’s corporate communications, public affairs, media relations, and stakeholder engagement efforts.
Addressing the allegations made by Reuters, Hillmann stressed that Binance had been upfront about areas where it had regulatory shortcomings in the past. He argued that the report by Reuters was misleading, focusing particularly on the term “deposit” used on Binance’s transaction page for purchasing BUSD (Paxos). According to Hillmann, this term was taken out of context in the Reuters story, as the page explicitly stated that users were purchasing a Stablecoin redeemable by Paxos.
Hillmann also criticized Reuters for its repeated mention of Binance founder Changpeng Zhao‘s ethnicity, noting the omission of Zhao’s Canadian citizenship since the age of 12. He characterized this reporting as an example of xenophobia, challenging Reuters’ portrayal of Binance’s leadership.
Additionally, Hillmann defended Binance’s practices regarding the segregation of funds. He emphasized that the exchange keeps the user and corporate funds on completely separate ledgers. Furthermore, he argued that the funds Reuters referred to as commingled were, in fact, Binance’s corporate funds derived from the sale of BUSD stablecoins.
The allegations in the Reuters report, sourced from unnamed “former insiders,” claimed that the mixing of funds involved amounts running into billions of dollars and was a daily occurrence. The report also suggested that this “commingling” indicated a lack of internal controls at Binance.
However, it’s important to note that the report did not provide any evidence to back claims that clients’ funds were “lost or taken.” Furthermore, Hillmann neither confirmed nor denied the allegations directly but focused on defending Binance’s practices and criticizing the report’s methodology.
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