Mazars, the accounting firm that issued a proof of reserves report posted by cryptocurrency giant Binance last week, has pulled the report from its website and no longer offers the service for its crypto clients.
Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, tweeted a link to the report on Dec. 7 as it seeks to reassure clients of its reserves following the collapse of competitor FTX last month.
Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, is having difficulty finding an accounting firm to conduct a proof of reserves report. (Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images / Getty Images)
According to The Wall Street Journal, Mazars scrubbed the report from its site on Friday.
“Mazars has paused its activity relating to the provision of Proof of Reserves Reports for entities in the cryptocurrency sector due to concerns regarding the way these reports are understood by the public,” the accounting group said in an emailed statement to FOX Business.
A Binance spokesperson said Mazars “has indicated that they will temporarily pause their work with all of their crypto clients globally, which include Crypto.com, KuCoin and Binance. Unfortunately, this means that we will not be able to work with Mazars for the moment.”
“Ultimately, our users want to know that their funds are secure and that our business is financially strong,” Binance’s statement continued. “To that end, Binance’s capital structure is debt free and, over the past week, Binance passed a stress test that should give the community extraordinary comfort that their funds are secure. Despite the large number of withdrawals 12-14 December, $6B of net withdrawals over three days, we were able to fulfill them without breaking stride.”
Binance said it has reached out to several major accounting firms, including the Big Four, seeking one willing to perform a proof of reserves report. The crypto exchange said the Big Four — which are Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and Pricewaterhouse Coopers — are all “currently unwilling to conduct a PoR for a private crypto company.”
The crypto industry has been rocked by the downfall of FTX, leaving investors with major jitters after a run on the bank showed the exchange — worth roughly $40 billion at one point — did not have enough in reserves to honor the withdrawals. The company filed for bankruptcy last month, resulting in billions of dollars in losses for an estimated one million customers worldwide.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested Monday on several charges connected to his company’s collapse, which prompted calls for greater regulations for the crypto industry by jurisdictions worldwide — including requiring proof of reserves.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao speaks at the Delta Summit, Malta’s official Blockchain and Digital Innovation event promoting cryptocurrency, in St Julian’s, Malta, on Oct. 4, 2018. ( REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi / Reuters Photos)
Binance founder and CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” this week that “the well-run crypto exchanges should hold users’ assets one-to-one.”
“People can withdraw 100% of the assets they have on Binance,” Zhao said. “We will not have an issue, in any given day.”