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SEC Chair Gary Gensler Allegedly Offered to Advise Binance in 2019, Lawyers Assert

Lawyers representing Binance and its founder Changpeng Zhao have made allegations suggesting that Gary Gensler, the Chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), previously offered his services as an advisor to the crypto exchange.

According to a CNBC report on June 7, legal documents filed by the SEC indicated that attorneys from Gibson & Dunn and Latham & Watkins claimed Gensler made the offer in March 2019.

However, an earlier report from The Wall Street Journal in March stated that it was actually Binance who had initially approached Gensler in 2018 regarding the advisory role.

Based on messages and documents spanning from 2018 to 2020, Ella Zhang, then the head of Binance’s venture investing arm, and Harry Zhou, co-founder of Koi Trading, met with Gensler in October 2018 to propose the advisory position. Gensler ultimately declined the offer.

Furthermore, the report reveals that multiple private companies approached Gensler to serve as an advisor while he was teaching at MIT, but he turned down all the offers.

Gary Gensler was nominated by President Joe Biden to lead the SEC in February 2021 and assumed office on April 17, 2021. Prior to his role at the SEC, Gensler served as a professor of global economics and management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He also chaired the Maryland Financial Consumer Protection Commission from 2017 to 2019.

It is worth noting that on June 7, Binance took to its Chinese social media platforms to address the regulatory actions it was facing, asserting its uniqueness among other crypto exchanges. In its statement, Binance emphasized the transparency of its wallet addresses and refuted any allegations of misusing consumers’ funds.

Furthermore, the exchange claimed to have abstained from making substantial donations to political candidates or providing extensive sponsorships to entertainment and media entities, indirectly contrasting its practices with those of the now-defunct FTX crypto exchange.

On the same day, CZ sparked a debate on Twitter by highlighting that the SEC had not sued FTX, despite SEC Chair Gary Gensler suggesting similarities between the two companies in an interview.

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