Binance to Double Compliance Team; Grew 5x Since Last Year As It Hires Another Former Regulator

“Binance has grown very quickly, and we haven't always got everything exactly right,” says CEO Changpeng Zhao amidst growing scrutiny from global regulators, adding: “We know that we are at the tipping point, along with the broader industry.”

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance is planning to double its compliance team by year’s end and will “humbly welcome more capable talents” as it faces several global regulatory probes.

“Binance has grown very quickly and we haven't always got everything exactly right,” chief executive Changpeng Zhao said in a letter posted on the company website.

“We hope to clarify and reiterate our commitment to partner with regulators, and that we are pro-actively hiring more talent, putting in place more systems and processes to protect our users.”

Without pinpointing the probes, Zhao said the scrutiny of the most unregulated industry shows signs of it “maturing.”

“We know that we are at the tipping point, along with the broader industry.”

He likened the crypto market’s growth with that of cars, as he noted when the car was first invented, there weren't any traffic laws or traffic lights.

“Laws and guidelines were developed along the way,” he said. “Crypto is similar.”

Already the exchange’s international compliance team and advisory board have grown by “500% since last year,” said Zhao while sharing plans to double it by 2021 end.

“Our vision is to increase freedom and inclusion for a better human society.”

“We Take This Seriously”

This week, Binance.US, the US-based unit of Binance, led by former bank regulator Brian Brooks, hired Manuel Alvarez as its chief administrative officer.

Alvarez, who was previously the commissioner of the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, will join on July 22 and report to Brooks.

“Bringing on someone like Manny, who was the regulator responsible for the protection of over 40 million consumers, shows not only do we take this seriously, but we’re not going to be defensive about compliance and consumer protection.”

Brian Brooks Binance.US CEO

Brooks, the chief executive, has been building out the team since he first joined the company in May and so far has already doubled the headcount. He plans to hire hundreds of people in the next six to nine months, filling roles in compliance, legal, and risk management.

“We’re going to be on the front foot, so we will hire the very best talent, the very most-senior people to run those functions for us because we agree they’re super important.”

In an interview with Bloomberg, Brooks said Binance.US could go public in the next four years.

Binance has faced regulatory clampdown from all over the world, including the UK, the US, Thailand, Japan, Cayman Islands, Canada, Germany, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Brooks clarified that Binance.US is a separate entity from Binance and only shares a common founder. Also, at this point of the market, it needs basic frameworks, although the calls for regulation aren’t bad signs, according to him.

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