As Binance continues to face increased pressure from regulators, Founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao revealed that he is willing to relinquish his position as Chief Executive Officer whenever he finds a successor who can do a “better job”, as the company seeks to become a regulated financial institution. Changpeng Zhao said he had no immediate plans to step down but that the company has a succession plan in place.
Binance is the world’s largest digital currency exchange by trading volume. However, in recent times, it has been faced with intense regulatory scrutiny as authorities around the world seek to clamp down on the fast-growing crypto industry.
Financial authorities around the world are eagerly seeking to regulate the cryptocurrency industry, putting in place stringent rules that limit the activities of cryptocurrency transactions and mining, which pose a challenge for exchanges like Binance that has thrived in a loosely regulated environment.
Changpeng Zhao pointed out that Binance was especially probed because regulators were concerned that the exchange platform could be used for money laundering, or that investors might fall victim to scams and runaway bets.
Antitrust regulators and financial authorities in Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, and Thailand have all recently raised concerns about Binance. Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission prohibited Binance from selling stock tokens, after which Binance announced that it was discontinuing its stock token service, and ending the sale of the tokens immediately. Thailand’s Securities and Futures Commission filed a criminal complaint against Binance on claims that it was operating a digital asset business without a license. In the UK, Binance is banned by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which said that Binance was not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK. Japan regulators also mentioned that the exchange was operating in the country illegally. In April, German regulators mentioned that the exchange risked being fined for offering tokens connected to stock. The crypto exchange was also under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service in May.
According to Zhao, the company’s relationship with regulators around the world is set to change as the company plans on seeking the approval of regulatory bodies, and become a regulated institution. In the process of becoming a regulated institution, Zhao said that while he had no immediate plans to step down, he was willing to pass on the baton of rulership to a successor who understood regulations, and who could do a better job.
“I’m a technology entrepreneur. We are doing this pivot to be a regulated financial institution and I would be very open to looking for a leader with strong regulatory background, ” Zhao said.
In addition to stopping the sale of stock tokens, Binance ended its services on cryptocurrency bets and highly leveraged positions.
Binance offers a wide range of services to users across the globe, including crypto spot and derivatives trading, and its digital currency, Binance coin, is the third-largest digital currency in the world with a market capitalization of $59.2 billion.