Home Altcoins News Binance Faces Backlash Over Secret Sale of Gopax User Deposits: What You Need to Know

Binance Faces Backlash Over Secret Sale of Gopax User Deposits: What You Need to Know


Binance, one of the most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, is under intense scrutiny after allegations surfaced that it sold user deposits from Gopax at a significant discount without creditor approval. This secretive sale has potentially cost creditors tens of millions of dollars, leading to widespread outrage and raising questions about Binance’s business practices and regulatory compliance. Here’s a comprehensive look at the situation, its implications, and the challenges Binance faces.

The Gopax Acquisition

In 2022, Binance expanded its footprint in the cryptocurrency market by acquiring a substantial stake in Gopax, a South Korean crypto exchange. This move was part of Binance’s strategy to bolster investor confidence following significant losses incurred by Gopax’s crypto custody service, GOFi. GOFi users suffered approximately 70 billion Korean won in losses, equivalent to about 57 million dollars, due to the collapse of Genesis Global Capital.

Initial Compensation Efforts

As part of the acquisition agreement, Binance committed to compensating these losses. The initial steps were promising. Binance used its Industry Recovery Initiative system to make the first compensation payment of 1.5 billion won to affected GOFi users. However, subsequent compensation efforts took a troubling turn, leading to the current controversy.

The Secret Sale

According to a report by South Korean news outlet Hankyung, Binance secretly sold GOFi user claims to a third party in August 2023 at less than half their nominal value. This transaction was conducted without informing the affected investors, sparking outrage once it became public knowledge. The sale, kept under wraps, has now come under scrutiny as the implications of Genesis Global Capital’s bankruptcy proceedings unfold.

The Impact of Genesis’s Bankruptcy

Genesis Global Capital’s bankruptcy process revealed further complications. A New York bankruptcy court recently approved a 2 billion dollar settlement between Genesis and the state attorney general, which would return 77% of customer claims to creditors. This court-approved settlement highlighted the potential value that GOFi claims could have retained if Binance had not sold them prematurely at a discounted rate.

The Consequences of the Sale

The timing of Binance’s decision to sell the claims proved to be particularly detrimental. As Bitcoin prices rose, the value of these claims could have significantly increased, thereby reducing the financial losses faced by GOFi investors. Instead, the early sale at a discounted rate exacerbated the losses. Initially valued at 35 billion won during Genesis’s collapse, the remaining unpaid GOFi debt is now estimated to exceed 100 billion won, largely due to the appreciation in Bitcoin’s value.

Lack of Transparency

Neither Binance nor Gopax has made official statements regarding the sale of claims or the court-approved settlement. This lack of transparency has only fueled further distrust among investors and creditors. The concealed nature of the transaction and the significant financial damage caused by the early sale of GOFi investors’ claims have cast a shadow over Binance’s operations and its relationship with Gopax.

Regulatory Challenges in South Korea

Adding to the controversy, Binance has faced substantial regulatory challenges in South Korea. Local authorities have delayed the approval of Gopax’s ownership transfer to Binance, citing Binance’s ongoing legal issues in the United States as a primary concern. To navigate these regulatory hurdles and alleviate Gopax’s financial burdens, Binance has entered discussions to reduce its stake in Gopax, potentially becoming the second-largest shareholder.

Ongoing Negotiations

Steve Kim, Binance’s Asia-Pacific business development director, mentioned these ongoing negotiations during a roundtable meeting in January. Additionally, Binance CEO Richard Teng’s visit to Seoul in March to meet with financial regulators underscored the company’s efforts to address the regulatory challenges. Despite these efforts, the lack of transparency and the concealed nature of the claim sale continue to strain Binance’s relationship with Gopax and cast doubt on its commitment to fully compensating investors.

The Broader Implications

The controversy surrounding Binance’s handling of Gopax user deposits raises critical questions about transparency, regulatory compliance, and ethical business practices within the cryptocurrency industry. For Binance, addressing these issues openly and working to rebuild trust with its investors and regulatory bodies will be crucial steps moving forward.

Moving Forward

As the situation continues to develop, it is essential to consider the broader implications for the cryptocurrency market. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the need for robust oversight, transparent operations, and ethical practices in the rapidly evolving world of digital currencies. Investors and stakeholders alike must demand greater accountability and transparency from cryptocurrency exchanges to ensure the protection of their assets.

Lessons Learned

The Binance-Gopax controversy offers several key lessons for the crypto currency industry:

  1. Transparency is Crucial: Investors need clear and honest communication from cryptocurrency exchanges. Secretive transactions and lack of disclosure erode trust and can lead to significant financial losses.
  2. Regulatory Compliance: Operating within regulatory frameworks is essential for the long-term stability of the cryptocurrency market. Exchanges must work closely with regulatory bodies to ensure compliance and avoid legal complications.
  3. Investor Protection: Exchanges have a responsibility to protect their investors’ interests. This includes fair compensation practices and safeguarding user deposits against potential losses.

The Road Ahead for Binance

For Binance, the road ahead involves addressing the fallout from the Gopax controversy, rebuilding trust with its investors, and navigating regulatory challenges. The company must demonstrate a commitment to transparency and ethical practices to regain its standing in the cryptocurrency market.


The controversy surrounding Binance’s sale of Gopax user deposits at a discount without creditor approval has significant implications for the cryptocurrency giant and the broader market. As the situation unfolds, it is crucial for Binance to address these issues transparently and work towards rebuilding trust with its investors and regulatory bodies. The incident serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of transparency, regulatory compliance, and ethical business practices in the cryptocurrency industry. Moving forward, greater accountability and oversight will be essential to ensure the protection of investors and the sustainable growth of the digital currency market.

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Maheen Hernandez

A finance graduate, Maheen Hernandez has been drawn to cryptocurrencies ever since Bitcoin first emerged in 2009. Nearly a decade later, Maheen is actively working to spread awareness about cryptocurrencies as well as their impact on the traditional currencies. Appreciate the work? Send a tip to: 0x75395Ea9a42d2742E8d0C798068DeF3590C5Faa5

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