A major part of SEC’s probe into Binance.US borders around Ceffu, even as the regulator seeks to affirm that the US exchange’s assets won’t be transferred overseas.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) has thrown a cloud of confusion over Ceffu, a current point of contention between Binance.US and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In his latest post on X (formerly Twitter), CZ denied that Binance.US ever used custody software provided by its international counterpart. He wrote:
“For the record. Binance US does not use, and has NEVER used Ceffu or Binance Custody. You can’t just make this stuff up.”
Meanwhile, it is worth noting that the said statement directly contradicts previous statements by Binance.US in legal filings.
According to the legal representatives for the US exchange, otherwise called BAM in court filings, Binance.US did use custody software provided by its international arm Binance Holdings Ltd (BHL). Interestingly, it is this same Binance Custody program that has now been rebranded to Ceffu.
Binance.US and Ceffu Caught Up in a Web of Mixed Identities
In all fairness, a major part of SEC’s probe into the US-based exchange borders around Ceffu. Among many other things, the regulator seeks to affirm that the U.S. exchange’s assets won’t be transferred overseas.
Now, a May report by Bloomberg noted that CZ, who is a non-US resident, owned the company behind Ceffu. That is according to a 2022 corporate filing.
Meanwhile, Ceffu itself has denied any links to Binance.US. In a September 15 statement on its website, it stated that it provides services “in select jurisdictions, excluding the United States, among others”.
Whereas, according to a Binance.US document titled “Binance.US Digital Asset & Custody Operations Policy,” its “Systems. Overview” section says:
“We license wallet custody software and support services from Ceffu (previously Binance Holdings Limited). […] The Ceffu solution makes up a majority of our wallet technology.”
Whatever might be the case though, the SEC seeks to unravel the relationship that Binance.US has with Ceffu. According to the regulator, the exchange has been very inconsistent in its descriptions of the “mysterious Binance-related entity,” or its dealings with it. The agency also added that there is a possibility that BAM still doesn’t fully understand what Ceffu is.