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Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency trading platform, has reported substantial growth in its user base, experiencing a 30% increase in users in 2023 while emphasizing its compliance with various regulations.
According to its recently released year-end report, the cryptocurrency exchange Binance highlighted positive outcomes, emphasizing achievements such as welcoming over 40 million new users, representing nearly a 30% increase from the previous year.
Binance reported growth in services related to crypto payments, P2P trading, and earnings. The number of users using Binance Pay or Card grew by 54%, and the P2P platform processed 18% more trades than the previous year. The platform also added that its Binance Earn program supported over 362 assets across its Simple Earn suite and served 35% more users than last year.
The cryptocurrency exchange has reached over 170 million registered users, offering 431 assets across 1785 trading pairs by the end of 2023. The proof-of-reserves system was extended to 31 tokens, a notable increase from nine the previous year. Binance also introduced its Web3 Wallet.
Binance Feed evolved into Binance Square, a platform designed to be a gateway into the Web3 content universe. Binance Square saw significant growth, with the number of creators increasing from 1,200 to 11,000 and active daily users reaching 1.6 million.
The crypto exchange emphasized maintaining the trust of its growing community as a significant achievement in 2023. The report underlines that users came first for Binance and will always be a priority.
CEO Richard Teng emphasized the company’s commitment to long-term stability and growth, stating, “This organization is built to last—not years, but decades.”
Binance Highlights Web3 Expansion, Security, and Compliance Efforts in 2023 Annual Report
The report also outlined Binance’s focus on security, compliance, and making Web3 more accessible, with investments in compliance technology, processes, and talent, spending $213 million in 2023, a 35% increase from the previous year.
The platform holds licenses, registrations, and authorizations in 18 jurisdictions globally. Binance responded to 58,000 law enforcement requests, conducted 120 training sessions, and supported authorities in high-profile cases.
In November, the exchange launched the Binance Web3 Wallet, a self-custodial wallet integrated directly into the Binance app, allowing users to manage crypto funds, execute token swaps, earn yields, and interact with blockchain platforms.
In 2023, Binance Labs, the investment and venture capital arm of Binance, strategically allocated its investments across diverse sectors. These included projects focusing on infrastructure and tooling driven by zero-knowledge proof cryptography, advancements in Web3 gaming, and innovations within the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. Notably, Binance Labs experienced a robust response, with over 2,000 startups applying for participation in its incubation and acceleration programs throughout the year, with only 36 of these startups selected.
The report acknowledged the settlement made with U.S. regulators, stating that by doing so, the company took responsibility for its past conduct. It highlighted that U.S. agencies did not allege misappropriation of user funds or engagement in market manipulation.
Additionally, the platform faced numerous problems in the European Union after its euro banking partner, Paysafe Solutions, stopped supporting payments for the cryptocurrency exchange on September 25. However, the exchange focused on development in other jurisdictions, including Asia and the Middle East. Like local regulators, it aimed to create a new cryptocurrency hub in the latter.
Despite former CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) being forced from his leadership position due to the settlement with the U.S. government, it is important to note that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) still has an active case against the exchange.
SEC Continues Its Investigation Over Alleged Backdoor Control of Customer Assets
The SEC is reportedly investigating Binance.US for alleged backdoor control over customer assets, with similarities to a structure seen in FTX. The SEC had initiated legal action against both Binance and Binance.US in June, accusing them of involvement in the sale of unregistered securities and alleging a complex conspiracy involving fraud, conflicts of interest, lack of disclosure, and willful disregard for the law.
One specific claim made by the SEC was that Binance had discretionarily redirected customer assets, including funds sent to the Switzerland-based Sigma Chain, under the control of Binance’s founder, Changpeng Zhao (CZ). During a recent federal court hearing, Binance.US attorneys argued that the SEC lacked evidence of asset misuse and requested the judge consider halting the SEC’s investigation.
The development occurred in the context of Binance and CZ agreeing to plead guilty to violating U.S. anti-money laundering laws in a $4.3 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, Treasury, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) the previous week. On December 18, the judge overseeing the case issued a verdict ordering the exchange and CZ to pay a staggering $2.85 billion to the CFTC.