Binance Lawyers Claim
In March 2019, before Gary Gensler took office as SEC chairman, he contacted cryptocurrency exchange Binance executives and Changpeng Zhao (CZ) and pitched them to sign him up as an advisor. There are reports that
Two law firms representing Binance have asked him to back out of SEC efforts involving Binance in light of Gensler’s past, according to court documents filed Thursday.
Meanwhile, the SEC issued a statement to CNBC, stressing that “the chairman is fully aware of and complies with his ethical obligations and obligations to leave office.”
In documents filed by law firms Gibson Dunn and Latham & Watkins, Gensler said he met CZ in person in Japan in late March 2019.
At the time, Gensler was a professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he also conducted research and guidance on “Finance and Blockchain.”
According to Binance’s attorney, CZ said it had the impression that Gensler was “comfortable in serving as a non-executive adviser.”
After that, Mr. Gensler and CZ continued their relationship, and he even invited CZ to a lecture specializing in cryptocurrencies at MIT and had a video interview.
Ultimately, Gensler was appointed chairman of the SEC by President Biden in April 2021 and has since worked to strengthen regulation of the cryptocurrency industry. He has sued numerous projects and companies for allegedly selling and offering unregistered securities.
On June 5, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Binance itself, Binance US, and Mr. CZ. The SEC alleges 13 charges, including offering unregistered securities and diversion of client assets. Binance has indicated that it will fight the case in court.
connection:US SEC sues Binance and CZ, claiming many cryptocurrency stocks as securities
Previous WSJ coverage
The relationship between Gensler and Binance was also reported by The Wall Street Journal in March 2023.
Mr. Gensler served as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from 2009 to 2014 and then taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 2018 to 2021. During his tenure at MIT, he was approached by several private companies, including Binance, for an advisory role, but he consistently turned them down, according to sources with close ties to Gensler. ing.
Citing internal Binance communication data and a person with close ties to the SEC chairman, the approach was allegedly initiated by Binance.
Records show that in 2018 and 2019, Binance staff approached Gary Gensler to become an advisor. A Binance staffer is on record speculating in a chat with a colleague that, “If the Democrats win the 2020 election,[Gensler]will likely return to the seat of regulator.”
Ella Zhang and Harry Zhou, who were then heads of Binance’s venture investment arm, met with Gensler in October 2018, according to the chat. “Although Gensler declined his advisory role, he generously provided his insight into licensing strategies,” Zhou wrote.
connection:Binance US to discontinue mass currency pairs