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Former Binance.US Trump chief faces uproar over company sibling

(Bloomberg) – The first challenge for the new CEO of Binance.US: To combat the perception that his company is simply a replacement for a sister crypto company that is under investigation by US authorities. Brian Brooks, a controversial former bank regulator under President Donald Trump, embarks on a campaign to reassure regulators and others that his company is focused on regulatory compliance and is independent of its namesake, Binance Holdings Ltd., the world’s largest crypto exchange -currency in the world, Binance Holdings is the subject of a judicial investigation. According to Bloomberg News, U.S. officials have long been concerned that criminals will use crypto exchanges to cover up illicit transactions and that customers of these platforms will evade taxes on their trading profits. based on Binance.US, which is small but one of the fastest growing cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, is under attack by rivals who are too keen to tie the American company to its beleaguered namesake. A study by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis Inc. concluded that Binance Holdings handles more illicit financing transactions than any other exchange. “The challenge that awaits me is to put myself in front of the regulators and explain to them that we have an approach. It’s a strong compliance-driven approach, ”Brooks said in an interview. He plans to meet with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission, among other regulators, in the coming months. “We are not a Binance alter-ego,” said Brooks, who most recently served as acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency at the Treasury Department. banned banks from denying loans to industries like gun manufacturers. He finalized the measure on his last day, a move that drew applause from Republicans and opposition from Democrats, consumer groups and banks. The Biden administration quickly stopped the new rule from taking effect. To continue its exponential growth, Binance.US will need to ensure that US regulators do not restrict it due to issues with Binance Holdings. A separate business, the US company is licensed to do business in 43 states, the biggest exceptions being New York and Texas. In addition to securing these remaining licenses, executives at Binance.US are hoping to one day persuade regulators to allow crypto-related derivatives in the United States, the industry that has turned Binance Holdings into the monster it is. today. All of these goals could become more difficult if regulators crack down. who emigrated to Canada, he got his start as an intern in Japan writing software for trading platforms. A spokesperson for Binance Holdings said the company takes its legal obligations seriously but does not comment on them. specific questions or requests. works with regulators around the world and continues to improve its compliance.Binance Holdings allows investors to trade cryptocurrencies that are not available on other exchanges. It also allows trading of derivatives, which investors can use to amplify their bets with leverage. These features help explain why the trading volume on Binance Holdings’ main exchange quickly surpassed that of rivals like San Francisco-based Coinbase Global Inc., Binance Holdings processed over $ 50 billion worth of crypto trading in with the 24 hours ending at 2 p.m. ET on Friday, compared to more than $ 8.8 billion for Coinbase, according to Coinmarketcap.com, an industry website, Binance Holdings also processed more than $ 95 billion in products derivatives, which investors outside of the United States can use. Many exchanges, including Coinbase, do not offer derivatives because they are not licensed to do so by U.S. regulators. By comparison, Binance.US has processed around $ 1.9 billion in cryptocurrency transactions. during this period, according to Coinmarketcap.com. Binance.US operates independently from Binance.com, which is the exchange for Binance Holdings, and the US-based exchange only licenses the Binance name and some of its technology for a fee. Last year, its main US rival, Coinbase, left the Blockchain Association industrial trading group to protest after the authorization from Binance.US. A Coinbase executive wrote in a resignation letter that “the past few weeks have shown us that the Blockchain Association is not interested in the membership criteria that we have been working to establish to support the mission of this organization.” Prior to its $ 86 billion stock exchange listing, Coinbase said in an SEC filing that it competes with companies that “have varying degrees of regulatory adherence, like Binance.” Brooks, who before becoming the acting chief of the OCC was the legal director of Coinbase, has expressed concern about the casting of his rivals. sprinkles on Binance.US. “I wish that wasn’t how the world worked. It obviously is, ”said Brooks. He said Binance.US plans to triple the number of employees in its regulatory, legal and compliance teams soon and that the company has joined several trade associations to help advance the interests of the crypto industry to stakeholders. regulators. The CFTC fined Coinbase $ 6.5 million in March for giving investors misleading information about its exchange’s trading volume. Last month, Coinbase and three other companies formed a new trade association, called the Crypto Council for Innovation. Many cryptocurrency executives see it as a rival to the Blockchain Association, which Coinbase saw as tainted by Binance’s membership. A representative from CCI said the formation of the group was not related to the disagreement with the Blockchain Association. Questions about the relationship between Binance Holdings and Binance.US are not limited to lobbying circles. Lawmakers and some regulators ask questions about Binance in meetings and appear confused about Binance Holdings’ involvement in U.S. affairs, the country’s regulators who monitor it, and even the head office of Binance Holdings, according to two lobbyists for claims. cryptocurrency companies. A spokesperson for Binance.US said the company has not encountered such confusion itself. Nomadic ExistenceZhao has adopted a nomadic existence for himself and his business. When the Chinese government cracked down on cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance Holdings shifted its operations and claimed a presence in Japan, Malta, and Singapore, among others. Last year, Zhao disowned that the company had a base original, claiming that the head office was where it was located. In legal files, lawyers for the company say it is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, which is well known as an offshore tax and regulatory haven. Initially, US-based investors may have accounts on Binance. .com even though some of the stock exchange’s practices were banned in the United States In 2019, Binance restricted access for American investors and said it had entered into a partnership with BAM Trading Services Inc., a company in the Delaware, to launch Binance.US.BAM was incorporated in February 2019, according to the public filings, and initially appointed Zhao as its sole director. Now the filings show three directors: Zhao, Binance Holdings CFO Wei Zhou and former BAM CEO Catherine Coley. A Binance.US spokeswoman said this was no longer the current board composition, but declined to say how it had changed. Brooks said Zhao recruited him and gave him management control. full. He said he and Zhao had a good relationship and that BAM was planning to attract more investors and expand its board of directors. “I wasn’t going to come here and lend accreditation for a business that is really run elsewhere,” said Brooks. Zhao worked at Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, from 2002 to 2005 in a division that develops technologies and trading analytics.Despite their rapid growth, neither Binance.US nor Binance Holdings have built a large presence in Washington, unlike some Binance Holdings recently brought in former Senator Max Baucus, a Democrat from Montana , to obtain policy advice and to connect the company with regulators and lawmakers. Neither Binance Holdings nor its US counterpart have registered lobbyists. Coinbase, by comparison, had two companies with nine lobbyists representing it in the last quarter. Brooks said he had not decided whether Binance.US would hire its own lobbyists, but would take care of them himself. much of the awareness of lawmakers and regulators with other Binances. Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted source of business information. © 2021 Bloomberg LP

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