“I’m Spending Almost All My Time” on Regulatory Compliance, says Binance CEO

The leading cryptocurrency exchange is currently on a hiring spree to increase the size of its compliance and legal teams along with remedying the issue of not having a headquarters which was a move towards a “decentralized organizational structure.”

The number one priority of Binance right now is to hire people with compliance and regulatory experience, said Chief Executive Officer Changpeng “CZ” Zhao.

“I'm spending almost all my time” on the compliance drive, Zhao said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “I'm not really involved in the day-to-day operations of the exchange.”

However, he is hopeful that the regulators will get things right, if not right away.

“When new crypto regulations come in, many of them are restrictive and that is expected, but over time we think regulations will adjust with market demand and hopefully will get better.”

According to him, the US is “very mature” on the crypto regulation part and is, in fact, “leading now.”

Zhao is also “fairly confident” that SEC commissioner Chair Gary Gensler will “do the right thing” when it comes to regulating the crypto space and on the prospect of a Bitcoin ETF.

“Gary is one of the most knowledgeable people in the regulatory space about crypto.”.

Besides increasing the size of their compliance and legal teams, Binance is also working on remedying the issue of not having a headquarters which was a move towards a “decentralized organizational structure.”

Meanwhile, commenting on the recovery in crypto prices, CZ said they are seeing “more people buying.”

Hiring Spree

The leading cryptocurrency exchange is on a hiring spree and is also seeking regular meetings with US officials.

The exchange is currently in talks with a former senior Singapore bourse executive, Richard Teng, who stepped down as head of the Abu Dhabi Global Market in March after six years, to be the chief executive officer at its local business in the Asian financial hub, reported Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter. The exchange has reportedly also approached other executives about the position.

Teng spent 13 years at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and was previously Singapore Exchange Ltd.’s chief regulatory officer.

Its Singapore unit, Binance Asia Services Pte, is currently operating within a grace period while the MAS reviews its application for a license to provide digital payment token services. The regulator granted two such “in-principle approval” this month.

Another one is the latest hire Greg Monahan, the former US government criminal investigator at IRS and will lead Binance’s global money laundering reporting.

The exchange faces a probe by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Justice into potential illicit activities. Monahan said in a statement,

“My efforts will be focused on expanding Binance’s international anti-money laundering and investigation programs, as well as strengthening the organization’s relations with regulatory and law enforcement bodies worldwide.”

The firm said that Karen Leong, who previously held the top money-laundering role at the exchange since 2018, will become a director of compliance. CZ in the statement said,

“We are always expanding our capabilities to make Binance and the wider industry a safe place for all participants.”

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