Binance Product Head Resigns Amid US Investigation


Binance’s global head of product resigns, amid a number of executive departures, job losses, and US regulatory lawsuit

More upheaval at Binance, after it is reported that global head of product, Mayur Kamat, has resigned.

The resignation of Kamat was confirmed to Reuters by a company spokesperson on Monday. It comes after comes a string of executive exits and job cuts at the cryptocurrency exchange.

Other executive departures at Binance includes Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Hillmann and General Counsel Hon Ng. The firm also reportedly laid off approximately 1,000 people in July.

Binance chief executive Changpeng Zhao. Image credit: Binance

SEC lawsuit

It comes as Binance finds itself embroiled in a legal tussle with the US financial regulator.

Back in June, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed lawsuits against both Coinbase and Binance, as well as against the later’s founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao.

Prior to that it was reported that a senior Binance executive allegedly had primary control over five bank accounts belonging to the firm’s supposedly independent US affiliate.

The SEC had listed 13 charges against Binance, Zhao and the operator of its purportedly independent US Exchange.

The SEC alleged that, while Zhao and Binance publicly claimed that US customers were restricted from transacting on, Zhao and Binance in reality subverted their own controls to secretly allow high-value US customers to continue trading on the platform.

Furthermore, the SEC alleged that, while Zhao and Binance publicly claimed that Binance.US was created as a separate, independent trading platform for US investors, Zhao and Binance secretly controlled the Binance.US platform’s operations behind the scenes.

The SEC also alleged that Zhao and Binance exercise control of the platforms’ customers’ assets, permitting them to commingle customer assets or divert customer assets as they please, including to an entity Zhao owned and controlled called Sigma Chain.

The SEC’s complaint further alleged that BAM Trading and BAM Management US Holdings, Inc. (“BAM Management”) misled investors about non-existent trading controls over the Binance.US platform, while Sigma Chain engaged in manipulative trading that artificially inflated the platform’s trading volume.

And the SEC alleged that the defendants concealed the fact that it was commingling billions of dollars of investor assets and sending them to a third party, Merit Peak Limited, that is also owned by Zhao.

Protective order

Binance has already stated it would defend itself vigorously, and last month it pushed back against the US financial regulator, and filed for a protective court order against the SEC.

Binance alleged the SEC requests for information were “over broad” and “unduly burdensome.”

The court filing was made in the US District Court of Columbia, where BAM Trading, Binance US’s operating company and BAM Management said the group had already provided sufficient information to the regulator.

It seems the protective order tries to limit the SEC, among other things, to four depositions from BAM employees, and to drop the deposition of BAM’s chief executive and of its chief financial officer, without naming anyone.

Last week it was reported that Mastercard would no longer offer Binance-branded cards in Latin America and the Middle East, which let customers user their crypto to purchase goods.

It came after Visa ended a similar card tie-up with Binance in Europe in July, but Binance insisted the Mastercard move means only “a tiny portion of our users (less than 1 percent of users in the markets mentioned) are impacted by this.”