Binance’s Bitcoin Reserves Are Overcollateralized, New Report Says
Mazars conducted a proof-of-reserves and a proof-of-liabilities assessment on the centralized exchange.
According to data released by global audit, tax and advisory firm Mazars on Wednesday, Binance is in good shape. The report showed that Binance’s customer bitcoin reserves are well-covers – or overpaid in the event of a price drop.
The Mazars report estimates that Binance’s assets are worth over twice the amount of their liabilities. From the report: “At the time of assessment, Mazars observed Binance controlled in-scope assets in excess of 100% of total platform liabilities.”
The collapse of centralized crypto exchange FTX because of liquidity issues has competitors rushing to improve the transparency of their financial reserves. The report from Mazars was meant to assure customers that their bitcoin is collateralized, and that it exists on the blockchain and is under Binance’s control.
However, the assessment is not an audit according to Francine McKenna, a lecturer at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “They did a comparison of balances per public key address from a list they got from management. They did not compare any balances in independent banks or custodians or depositories,” said McKenna.
She said that “this is even more useless than the Tether or USDC report.” In September, Friedman LLP, a NYC-based accounting firm who provided auditing services for the stablecoin issuer Tether in 2017 was accused of “serial violations of the federal securities laws” by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Friedman was fined $1 million by the SEC. Tether hired BDO Italia to take over its regular attestation reports in August of this year.
Due to an insurance policy, Mazars decided to do a collateralization analysis on Binance’s total reserves and liabilities. The assets included in this snapshot were customers’ spot, option, margin, futures, funding, loan, and earn accounts on the Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB Chain (Binance Coin), and Binance Smart Chain blockchains.