Brother of the last Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, Jo Johnson has resigned from the UK advisory board of Bifinity, which is a subsidiary of the prominent cryptocurrency exchange Binance.
On Monday, it was apparently Binance itself that made the announcement of Johnson’s resignation from the payments technology business. Johnson is said to have been quoted stating so in a statement that was made on Monday, it was reported by The Telegraph.
“Last week, I resigned from my position on the advisory board, and I no longer have any role with it or any other company associated to it.”
According to the article, the growing criticism over the openness of Binance’s finances may have been a contributing factor in the decision to take this course of action.
It went on to cite official records and say that Baron Johnson of Marylebone, a former Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, was advising Binance as it tried to expand into the United Kingdom and launch its exchange in the country. The article went on to say that the advice was given while Binance was attempting to launch its exchange in the country.
According to The Telegraph, Binance introduced Bitfinity in the beginning of March of this year, and Johnson started working for the company as an advisor in September.
Then, some two to three months later, precisely last week, after Binance’s proof-of-reserves (PoR) audit, it was revealed that he resigned from his position. The audit raised concerns among several financial and accounting specialists, and many participants in the cryptocurrency sector questioned the reliability and precision of this particular kind of Proof of Reserves; all of this was followed by the possibility of a bank run.
According to what was reported, Binance’s Proof of Reserve audit, which was published at the beginning of December, had raised warning flags, with some experts suggesting that it was far from adequate to please apprehensive consumers, particularly given the narrow scope of the audit. An accounting professor at Baruch College in New York named Douglas Carmichael stated that it was “a gross misrepresentation to call this an audit,” and that he “can’t imagine it answers all the questions an investor would have about the sufficiency of collateralization.” Carmichael was quoted as saying that it was “a gross misrepresentation to call this an audit.”
It’s possible that this was one of the factors that led Johnson to choose to leave the company’s subsidiary, even if it wasn’t the primary cause.
Binance’s statement, which was obtained by Reuters, stated that Johnson had resigned in order to better manage the growing amount of work that he was responsible for.
“Lord Johnson is now serving as the Executive Chairman of FutureLearn, a position he was appointed to not too long ago. He is going to concentrate on his new function inside the online educational platform, and he is looking for ways to reduce his involvement in other activities.”
Notably, this decision comes at a time when the cryptocurrency market is experiencing a prolonged decline, continued impacts of the failure of the FTX exchange, and increased pressure from regulatory authorities.
Binance “is not authorised to conduct any regulated activity in the UK,” according to a warning issued by the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in June of 2017. This warning required Binance to get the regulator’s prior written authorization. According to the Financial Do Authority’s statement at the time, neither Binance nor any of its businesses has “any kind of UK permission, registration or license to conduct regulated activities in the UK.”
When all of these factors are considered together, it is not exactly shocking that a political figure would choose to quit a crypto-related firm and the sector altogether – at least until the smoke clears.
At the same time, the value of Binance’s BNB currency, which is traded on the exchange, had almost reached $248 as of 10:40 Tuesday AM UTC. In one day, it has not changed, but in one week, it has decreased by 10.5%.
Compiled by Coinbold