Binance said Wednesday it had appointed a former Treasury Department detective as its global money laundering reporting officer, part of an attempt by one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges to reinvent itself as a regulated finance company.
Governments and financial regulators are paying more attention to the cryptocurrency industry, often enacting rules that challenge exchanges like Binance, which have thrived in a largely unregulated environment.
In the past few months, the UK, Italy and Hong Kong have declared that Binance entities are not authorized to conduct regulated activities in their markets, while the Malaysian financial regulator has censured the exchange for illegal activity in the country. Bloomberg also reported earlier this year that Binance was under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service.
“My efforts will focus on expanding Binance’s international anti-money laundering and investigation programs, as well as strengthening the organization’s relationships with regulators and law enforcement agencies around the world,” said Greg Monahan, the new appointee, in a statement.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said last month he wanted to improve relations with regulators and said the exchange would seek their approval and set up a regional headquarters.
Wednesday’s statement said Binance has grown its international compliance team and advisory board by 500 percent since 2020.
But not all of his recent settings have remained.
Brian Brooks, CEO of Binance’s U.S. arm and former acting U.S. currency auditor, stepped down earlier this month, just three months after he took office.
© Thomson Reuters 2021