Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has seen more than $3 billion of net withdrawals over the past day as rumors about alleged problems at the platform spread like wildfire.
According to DeFi TVL aggregator DefiLlama, Binance saw over $4 billion in withdrawals on Tuesday. Prior to that, the exchange saw $1 billion in withdrawals on Monday and Tuesday. As of now, Binance has around $60 billion worth of assets on its exchange.
A separate tweet from blockchain analytics firm Nansen revealed that Binance has seen $8.7 billion of outflows and only $5.1 billion of inflows over the past week, leaving the exchange with more than $3.6 billion of net withdrawals.
The recent withdrawals come as some crypto experts have criticized Binance’s audit, which was conducted by Mazars, and claimed that the exchange’s bitcoin reserves have a 101% collateralization ratio. However, the figures essentially state Binance’s bitcoin is 97% collateralized, which was highlighted by Kraken co-founder Jesse Powell.
“The 3% ‘gap’ is due to BTC loaned to customers, through the margin or loan programs, who may have used tokens out of the report’s scope as collateral. If we take these into account (in other words, if we didn’t provide these BTC loans), we would be 101% collateralized,” a Binance spokesperson tweeted in response.
Powell was not apparently sold. “Big red flag for me is that this seems to be more of an attempt at proving collateral rather than proving reserves,” he said. “They even admit to be insolvent with regard to actual assets owed vs tokens controlled. The ‘collateral’ accounting trick is exactly how FTX played solvent as well.”
Moreover, John Reed Stark, former chief of the SEC Office of Internet Enforcement and vocal crypto critic, said the audit does not “address effectiveness of internal financial controls.”
What added fuel to the fire was Binance’s decision to halt USDC withdrawals. The company’s CEO Changpeng Zhao said they paused withdrawals while they carried out a “token swap,” which could only be completed after banks in New York opened, allowing BUSD to fiat and then USDC conversion. The platform has since resumed withdrawals.
While some have drawn similarities between Binance and FTX, Nansen CEO Alex Svanevik does not believe the world’s largest crypto exchange is in trouble.
“I would say that you’re definitely seeing larger than normal withdrawals from Binance. And so it is definitely worth keeping an eye on but as far as I can tell at this point in time, this is very different from the FTX situation,” he said.
CZ has consistently called the recent situation “FUD,” but said it would help create credibility for the platform. “FUD brought “stress test”, which in turn helps to build the credibility for exchanges that passes the test,” he tweeted.