The CEO of cryptocurrency platform Binance this week touted the company’s growing commitment to compliance after one of its units was recently banned from operating in the United Kingdom.
“Compliance is a journey – especially in new sectors like crypto,” Changpeng Zhao wrote in a blog post Tuesday. “… Binance has grown very quickly and we haven’t always got everything exactly right, but we are learning and improving every day. We hope to clarify and reiterate our commitment to partner with regulators, and that we are proactively hiring more talent, putting in place more systems and processes to protect our users.”
Zhao said the company plans to double the size of its compliance team by the end of the year. Later Tuesday, Binance announced the hiring of Jonathan Farnell as director of compliance. Farnell, a financial services veteran who most recently served in compliance leadership at digital currency trading company eToro, will help develop Binance’s regulatory products landscape.
“Jonathan is a very accomplished compliance professional who brings vital expertise in the development of regulated products that will be an enormous asset to Binance,” said Chief Compliance Officer Samuel Lim in a press release. “We are committed to meeting our compliance obligations everywhere we operate and bringing Jonathan on board is a significant step forwards in developing our team.”
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on June 26 announced Binance Markets “is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK.” Binance Markets is a separate legal entity and “does not offer any products or services via the Binance.com website,” the company explained in a Twitter thread. “The FCA UK notice has no direct impact on the services provided on Binance.com. Our relationship with our users has not changed.”
Of note, the FCA ordered Binance to acknowledge the ban on its Website and communication channels. The regulator did not provide specific reason for the ban in its press release, only explaining the risks consumers face when investing in cryptoassets. The FCA recently called out cryptocurrency firms in general for failing to meet the U.K.’s most basic anti-money laundering requirements.
In addition to the United Kingdom, Binance was recently warned by Japan’s financial regulator regarding doing business in the country without proper authorization. The company also plans to cease business in Ontario, Canada, at the end of year amid increased regulatory scrutiny of cryptocurrency in the area.