After a judge has ruled that customer’s assets do not belong to them based on the bankrupt-firm’s Terms of Service (ToS), I decided to check how deep we could go were one of the exchanges in the title to fail. I was looking specifically for insurance and/or ownership of the assets. See the TL;DR at the end.
Binance’s ToS have no mention of “ownership” or “insurance”. When trying to search the page for these, nothing relevant comes out. Some things, though, got my attention:
They claim not to have any obligation towards us when we’re using their services. In addition, no communication shall be implied as Financial Advice, not even the spam emails they send you encouraging you to use leverage [sic] because you could “gain 10x your investment”.
Other point that caught my eyes was:
I mean, why would they not warrant that their services are accurate and reliable?
When it comes to ownership, they’re very clear: the assets are yours! The word Payward refers to Kraken themselves:
However, the assets are not insured or covered for losses:
A question I have here: does this mean that if the exchange goes bankrupt by e.g. a hack, a judge and/or lawyers could claim that the losses are not Kraken’s fault, and therefore you’d be left without your assets?
Kraken also takes no responsibility for losses in the following cases:
Ownership belongs to the users:
Contrary to Binance and Kraken, user assets are insured by up to $250,000, as long as they’re in USD (cash) format within your wallet:
Funnily enough, one of the insurers is no one else than JPMorgan Chase:
A portion of your assets are insured against theft (at Coinbase’s end, not yours) and such:
I could not find information on what’s the % of this portion.
They’re launching Coinbase One, where you pay a subscription to a VIP-like access to benefits, which accounts for an insurance of up to $1M US dollars on the assets on your wallets:
Kraken and Coinbase acknowledge that assets belong to users Binance does not say anything on ownership (at least not that I could find) I only found insurance information on Coinbase: all balance held in USD (fiat) is insured by default and up to $250,000, or up to $1M dollars for assets in fiat and crypto for Coinbase One users
I was not expecting to see any kind of insurance at all, and am surprised with Coinbase’s take on that. Binance was the one with the less amount of information on these topics (at least per my research).
I’m not sure to what extent the assets would still be considered users’ property in the case of a bankruptcy filing, though. Exchanges can change their ToS at anytime, so avoid leaving funds there for longer.