Binance Hires Former Top US Banking Regulator, Brian Brooks as CEO of its US Exchange

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has hired Brian Brooks, former acting head of Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), as the new chief executive officer of Binance.US, the US affiliate of Binance Holdings.

He would be joining Binance on May 1, reported the WSJ. Currently, Catherine Coley is the CEO who joined Binance.US in 2019.

Brooks was the top US banking regulator under the Trump administration from May 2020 to January. Before joining OCC, a unit of the Treasury Department, he was the chief legal officer at rival exchange Coinbase.

Under Brooks, the OCC made several crypto forward moves, including releasing guidance that banks could provide crypto services and use stablecoins to facilitate payment activities.

At Binance.US, his priorities would include reinforcing its commitment to regulatory compliance and make it a robust competitor to Coinbase.

“I wouldn’t have taken this job if I didn’t have a strong commitment from the board to lead a strong compliance program.”

In March, there were reports that the exchange is under investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to determine whether Binance violated the rules by allowing US residents to trade derivatives.

Last month, Max Baucus, a former senator also tapped by the exchange as a policy adviser, said the exchange is weighing whether to register with the financial regulator of the US, CFTC.

Binance launched its US affiliate in 2019 to legally serve American customers. The exchange manages just under $2 billion in volume in the last 24 hours compared to over $142 billion on Binance, which has a global presence.

Crypto companies have taken to hiring several former officials to be more compliant and seek mainstream acceptance. Last month, Coinbase said it was hiring the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) former top regulator for stock exchanges, Brett Redfearn, as a vice president.

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