The United Kingdom-registered address for an entity of one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, Binance, is nothing but a tiny building in Britain’s east that is shared by thousands of other companies.
On June 19, a post on the r/buttcoin subreddit showed the so-called “utility closet” Binance Ltd and thousands of other firms use as a registered office address in the U.K. — a tactic often used by other tech firms and large companies.
Binance Ltd’s address points to the small town of Mildenhall in Suffolk county, England. Google Maps shows the site is a small, nondescript garage building on the outer edge of the town about an hour and a half’s drive from Britain’s capital London.
Companies House — the government’s company’s registrar — shows Binance Ltd shares the address with 2,403 active companies in total.
The address is actually the site of a company called OfficeServ, a virtual registered address service provider which aims to give a “believable business location,” as per its website.
Companies House shows Binance Ltd is registered to provide ”other service activities not elsewhere classified.” Binance has around six entities in Britain across various addresses registered to provide IT and financial services.
Cointelegraph contacted Binance for more information on the entity but did not immediately receive a response.
Tech firms shell games
Technology companies have employed such virtual “shell” addresses around the world and in the United States for years. These are used for a host of reasons – from providing privacy, obscuring patent filings or registering a business in a corporate tax haven.
Most notable is the Corporation Trust Company, the world’s largest registered agent service firm used by thousands of firms including well-known companies such as Google, Walmart, Coca-Cola and Apple. It operates out of a similarly nondescript brick building in Delaware.
This utterly nondescript building in Wilmington, Delaware is (probably) the most famous address in corporate law.
1209 North Orange Street.
It houses the Corporation Trust Center, the registered agent address of about three hundred thousand businesses. Including some giants. pic.twitter.com/HhdaUfKXCU
— Lucius Winslow (@Lucius_Winslow) November 15, 2020
Another firm, Wyoming Corporate Services was uncovered in a 2011 Reuters exposé which was said to be a “brick house” in a “sleepy city” and home to 2,000 registered companies at the time.