Reclusive Binance co-founder Yi He speaks on SEC case
Yi He is a co-founder and major shareholder at Binance and has a close relationship with CEO Changpeng Zhao. Famous for keeping a low profile, she has broken her silence in an interview with Bloomberg.
Yi He discusses regulations
In several interviews, Yi He commented on regulatory challenges, noting:
“If [regulators] really took the time to understand our industry, they would see that if Binance isn’t compliant, then practically no other global trading platform or offshore company is.”
She stated that Binance respects regulators regardless of whether they support or oppose cryptocurrency development. She acknowledged that regulations, in general, are meant to protect investors and said that regulations are “inevitable globally.”
Bloomberg emphasized Yi He’s close relationship with Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, disclosing that the two have a roommate-like relationship and have children together. Interviewers noted that this could raise a conflict of interest within the company leadership, but Yi He emphasized that she and Zhao lead separate parts of the company.
Yi He notably leads the Binance team that decides which crypto tokens Binance lists, a group that Bloomberg called “so secretive that few insiders even know its members.”
Bloomberg also said that Yi He is currently responsible for Binance’s venture capital arm Binance Labs, that she was critical to the growth of BNB Chain, and that she supervises the company’s institutional client business and acquisitions.
Interviewed amidst SEC charges
Bloomberg also noted that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed charges against Binance. It conducted just one interview prior to those charges.
Bloomberg observed that, in the SEC case, Changpeng Zhao named Yi He as one person involved in a process that would let U.S. users bypass exchange restrictions.
When questioned by interviewers, Yi He did not comment on whether market makers with ties to Changpeng Zhao traded with U.S. firms and manipulated volumes, as the SEC alleged in other parts of its case. She also said that Binance had not misused user funds or used its BNB token for loan collateral.
Bloomberg noted that Yi He, who has “massive wealth” as an early shareholder, could see her fortune could be impacted by the outcome of the lawsuit.
Also during the interview, Yi He said that she has not acted as a major public representative for Binance due to her limited English. She acknowledged that her interactions with Western journalists could reinforce views that Binance is a Chinese firm. Binance has repeatedly denied that it is based in China or maintains Chinese ties.