Online cryptocurrency exchange Binance is determined to follow local rules wherever it operates, says CEO and founder Changpeng Zhao.
“Our commitment to compliance extends to the manner in which Binance is organised,” he wrote in a letter published on the company’s website.
“For instance, Binance.com is not available to US users, while there is a brand partnership with Binance.US, which is a fully independent entity that is a compliant and regulated exchange in the US, to provide US users with a safe, secure and compliant trading platform.”
He made his comments after a series of run ins the Cayman Islands-based company has had with authorities and others. It faces a money laundering investigation in the US and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has prohibited Binance Markets Limited from undertaking any regulated activity in Britain.
Financial regulators in Japan, Canada, Thailand and the Cayman Islands are or have also investigated Binance.
In the past few days, British bank Barclays told customers it is stopping payments made by credit or debit card to Binance “to help keep your money safe” and referred them to an FCA web page.
In the four years since the company’s creation , Zhao said: “We have seen regulators take a more active interest in the industry as a whole as the industry goes mainstream. We welcome this development.
“However, there is still much to do to harmonise the treatment of cryptocurrency around the world. We aim to continue our efforts in working with regulators collaboratively to meet their concerns as the industry continues to grow.”
In the meantime, Binance has implemented new controls and regulation technology to further protect users.
“We’re proud to say that we have cleared multiple external anti-money laundering audits – a strong validation of our current AML controls and partnerships,” he added.
The company has expanded its international compliance team which now includes former Financial Action Task Force (FATF) executive secretary Rick McDonell and former head of the Canadian delegation to the FATF Josee Nadeau as compliance and regulatory advisors, plus Max Baucus, former US senator and US ambassador to China, to provide high-level guidance.
Of Binance’s goals, Zhao said: “We firmly believe that our industry will benefit society through the creationing of inclusive financial opportunities. We call this the ‘freedom of money’ …
“But this lofty vision won’t be possible without the support and guidance of regulators and policy makers who understand that innovation has the most long-term sustainable impact when tempered with frameworks to protect all participants.”
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