Binance.US CEO Brian Brooks Steps Down Just After Three Months Due to “Differences over Strategic Direction”
Binance.US CEO Brian Brooks is already stepping down from his position just three months after taking up the role.
Brooks announced his resignation on Friday in a tweet saying, “Despite differences over strategic direction, I wish my former colleagues much success. Exciting new things to come!”
His resignation came amidst a series of compliance setbacks and regulatory scrutiny from all over the globe tied to the cryptocurrency exchange Binance. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a statement,
“I remain confident in Binance.US's business and its commitment to serve its customers and innovate. As one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States, Binance.US is poised to continue to grow and empower the future of finance. This transition will not impact Binance.US customers in any way as the company will continue to deliver best-in-class products and services.”
In a separate tweet, CZ wished Brooks the “very best in his future endeavors,” saying his work at its US-based entity has been “invaluable.”
Brooks was the acting Comptroller of the Currency during the Trump administration from May 2020 to January 2021, where he led efforts to provide regulatory clarity for stablecoin and digital asset custody. Brooks joined Binance.US in May, and before joining the regulator, he was the Chief Legal Officer at the competing exchange Coinbase.
“This reminds me of so many other stories of foreigners taking executive-level positions at Chinese companies. Just as an empirical fact, it frequently ends in disaster,” said Matthew Graham, CEO at VC Sino Global Capital, last month regarding the disappearance of Catherine Coley from the social media after Brooks replaced her as the CEO of Binance.US.
“Don't be surprised if/when the Brian Brooks era ends in similar fashion,” Graham had said at the time.
Amidst this, the latest round of speculation in the market around Binance has been that it is “planning the ultimate rug pull” based on the fact that someone other than CZ is the beneficial owner of Binance, as narrated by a former Binance user who lost his funds on the platform during the May 19 crash when about $10 billion worth liquidation happened during which Binance went down.
But it seems more to do with how things work in China than the nefarious plan in action as claimed by Binance victim Francis Kim, whose Twitter bio says he’s here to expose the truth about the exchange.
Kim’s tweet about Binance “fundamentally misunderstands how business is done in China, where it’s quite common to have assets under other people’s names,” Graham said of the tweet.