Binance Refutes Association with UK-Based Entity
Binance, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, recently denied its affiliation with an entity registered in the UK. Claims had suggested that the crypto giant was using a small building, also a registered office for thousands of other companies, as its UK base.
Origins of the Controversy
On June 19, a post on the r/buttcoin subreddit pointed to a “utility closet” in the UK. It was alleged to be the registered office address for an entity known as Binance Ltd. However, Binance vehemently denies any relationship with this entity.
Binance Ltd’s Registered Location
The location in question is a nondescript garage building in the town of Mildenhall, Suffolk County, England. According to Google Maps, it is situated on the outer edge of the town and approximately an hour and a half’s drive from London. The Companies House, UK’s official registrar of companies, records show that this address is shared with a whopping 2,403 active companies.
Virtual Address Service Provider
This address is actually the site of a company called OfficeServ. OfficeServ is a virtual registered address service provider whose objective is to offer a “believable business location.” Companies House shows Binance Ltd is registered to provide ”other service activities not elsewhere classified.”
The Issue of ‘Clone’ Firms
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK has previously alerted the public about the existence of crypto “clone” firms. Such entities often scam unsuspecting victims by mimicking the credentials of legitimate businesses. There are currently several entities registered with “Binance” as part of their name across Britain.
Prevalence of ‘Shell’ Addresses
Technology companies worldwide, including the United States, have frequently used virtual “shell” addresses for various reasons, such as ensuring privacy, hiding patent filings, or registering in a corporate tax haven.
A prominent example is the Corporation Trust Company, the world’s largest registered agent service firm, used by major corporations like Google, Walmart, Coca-Cola, and Apple. This firm operates from a similarly modest brick building in Delaware and was used by Apple to obscure patent filings for its Vision Pro headset and related operating system.
Another firm, Wyoming Corporate Services, described in a 2011 Reuters exposé as a “brick house” in a “sleepy city” and home to 2,000 registered companies at the time.
The relationship between technology firms and shell companies remains a complex and controversial issue. As the situation surrounding Binance Ltd continues to unfold, more light will likely be shed on these practices within the cryptocurrency industry.