- Binance plans to give its global compliance team a two-fold boost by the end of 2021.
- “We plan to double our team size by the end of the year,” CEO Changpeng Zhao said on Tuesday.
- Legal pressure has begun mounting on Binance, making it unable to operate smoothly in some regions around the world.
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Binance plans to double the size of its global compliance team by the end of 2021 as the industry faces “a lot of uncertainty,” CEO Changpeng Zhao said in an open letter on Tuesday.
Zhao said the company’s international compliance team and advisory board has already grown by 500% since last year.
Former Financial Action Task Force executive secretary Rick McDonell, former head of the Canadian delegation to the FATF Josée Nadeau, and former US Ambassador to China Max Baucus are among the high-profile appointments on the team.
“We plan to double our team size by the end of the year, with qualified and experienced advisors to support,” Zhao said in his letter.
Binance has been under fire over a series of regulatory threats. Pressure first began mounting from Ontario, Canada, where a regulator alleged that the company failed to comply with securities laws.
Then the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority banned Binance’s local subsidiary, ordering it to stop all regulated activity in the country. The Cayman Islands too, where Binance was incorporated in 2017, said the exchange isn’t authorized to operate crypto trading in the nation. Officials in Thailand also filed a criminal complaint against the exchange last week for operating without a license.
Soon after, UK bank Barclays blocked customers from making card payments to Binance, saying this was done to help keep customers’ money safe.
In an email to users on Tuesday, Binance said it would suspend euro bank deposits from a key European payment network (the Single Euro Payments Area) due to “events beyond our control.” It described the suspension as temporary, according to the Financial Times.
In his letter, CEO Zhao compared crypto adoption to the invention of the car industry to explain that laws and guidelines for road traffic took a while to develop.
“Crypto is similar in the sense that it can be accessible for everyone, but frameworks are required to prevent misuse and bad actors,” he said.
“Binance has grown very quickly and we haven’t always got everything exactly right, but we are learning and improving every day.”
A fresh wave of regulatory clampdowns has set off panic investor behavior and willingness to sell at a loss, bringing cryptocurrency prices down from their peaks earlier this year. Bitcoin was last trading at $34,824 on Wednesday, down around 0.2% on the day. It’s still up 21% so far this year, but has lost 45% since hitting a record in April. Ripple’s XRP fell 1% to 67 cents on Wednesday, while litecoin fell 0.4% to $141.60.