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Binance hires audit firm that served Donald Trump to verify crypto reserves

Mazars’ U.S. division was the longtime accounting firm for former United States President Donald Trump’s company.

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is working with accounting firm Mazars as part of its proof-of-reserve (PoR) audits triggered by the fall of FTX.

Mazars, the accounting firm that worked for former United States President Donald Trump’s company, was appointed as an official auditor to conduct a “third party financial verification” as part of Binance’s PoR updates, The Wall Street Journal reported on Nov. 30.

The accounting firm is reportedly already reviewing all Binance’s publicly shared information on Bitcoin (BTC) PoR and will also be verifying future updates and tokens, a spokesperson for Binance reportedly said. “The first verification update for BTC will be completed this week,” the representative added.

Mazars is an international accounting firm headquartered in Paris. Its U.S. division, Mazars USA, was the longtime accounting firm for Trump and had been involved in a controversy with a House Oversight and Reform Committee’s request for some of Trump’s financial records since 2019. The firm reportedly eventually cut ties with Trump and his family in 2022.

The news comes amid Binance moving large amounts of cryptocurrency as part of its PoR audits. On Nov. 28, Binance sent 127,351 BTC, or about $2 billion, to an unknown wallet, with CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao subsequently announcing that the transaction was part of the ongoing PoR process.

The action has triggered some concerns in the community as previously CZ argued that it’s bad news when exchanges have to move large amounts of crypto to prove their wallet address.

As previously reported, Binance launched a PoR process and mechanism in response to the crash and bankruptcy of the FTX crypto exchange. On Nov. 25, the firm also published Merkle Tree-backed proof of funds for Bitcoin, which was just one of many Binance’s measures to prove its transparency.

Related: OKX releases proof-of-reserves page, along with instructions on how to self-audit its reserves

Binance is not alone in putting major efforts to maintain trust of its customers in the aftermath of the FTX collapse, with many other exchanges like OKX and KuCoin rushing to release their PoR reports as well. In the meantime, some industry observers believe that the existing PoR process by exchanges is largely useless, unless they also provide liabilities, which are very hard to fake.

Binance did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

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