Binance CEO Says Top Priority Is Hiring More Regulatory Staff

Binance Holdings Ltd. is on a hiring spree to add compliance teams as the company faces U.S. regulatory scrutiny over money laundering and tax evasion.

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, chief executive officer of the world’s biggest crypto exchange, said his No. 1 priority is to hire people with compliance and regulatory experience. The company is also seeking regular meetings with U.S. officials.

Binance CEO Says Top Priority Is Hiring More Regulatory Staff

“I’m spending almost all my time” on the compliance drive, Zhao said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “I’m not really involved in the day-to-day operations of the exchange.”

Regulators around the world are taking a harder look at the freewheeling crypto industry, which boomed as Bitcoin prices soared to record highs this year. U.S. officials have long been concerned that criminals are using crypto exchanges to conceal transactions linked to everything from drug trafficking to ransomeware cyberattacks.

The Justice Department has opened an inquiry into the Binance operations and U.S. officials have expressed concerns that cryptocurrencies are being used to conceal illegal transactions, including theft and drug deals. Numerous countries have also announced probes and demanded that Binance affiliates cease operations within their borders.

On pending crypto rules in the U.S., Zhao added that he’s “fairly confident” that Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler will “do the right thing.”

“Gary is one of the most knowledgeable people in the regulatory space about crypto,” Zhao said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.