Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has released its latest proof-of-reserves report, which shows that it holds enough crypto assets to back all customer deposits. However, the report only lists the reserves for 10 tokens, out of the hundreds of tokens that are traded on the platform.
The Report Has Raise Concerns in the Community
The report uses a zero-knowledge method called zk-SNARK to verify that Binance’s customer balances are included in a Merkle Root hash, which is a compact representation of all the data in a Merkle Tree. A Merkle Tree is a data structure that organizes customer balances into a hierarchy of hashes, which can be easily checked by auditors.
According to the report, Binance holds more than 100% reserves for its native BNB token, USDT, and BUSD stablecoin. It also holds 5% excess reserves for Bitcoin and Ethereum deposits. The other tokens listed in the report are ADA, DOT, LINK, LTC, SOL, and XRP.
However, the report does not include the reserves for many other tokens that are available on Binance, such as DOGE, SHIB, MATIC, and UNI. Binance claims to list over 350 tokens on its website. The reason for this omission is not clear, and Binance has not provided any explanation.
The proof-of-reserves report is supposed to increase transparency and trust among customers and regulators, especially after the recent crackdowns on Binance by various authorities around the world.
However, by listing only a fraction of its tokens, Binance may raise more questions than answers about its solvency and liquidity. Several cryptocurrency exchanges, including BitMEX, Kraken, Deribit, and OKX, regularly publish comprehensive proof-of-reserves reports.
For example, Kraken releases auditor-assisted reports every six months. Other exchanges release reports at different intervals and include full liability disclosures. These disclosures address concerns that proof-of-reserves reports may hide liabilities.
Additionally, customer assets can be stored in separate wallets to protect them from insolvency claims. This increases transparency and trust among customers and regulators.