Binance said on Wednesday it has appointed a former US Treasury criminal investigator as its global money laundering investigator as part of an effort by one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges to reinvent itself as a regulated financial company. Governments and financial watchdogs are paying more attention to the cryptocurrency industry, often introducing rules that challenge exchanges like Binance, which have thrived in a largely unregulated environment.
In recent months, Britain, Italy and Hong Kong have said Binance units are not authorized to conduct regulated activities in their markets, while Malaysia’s financial regulator reprimanded the exchange for operating illegally in the country. Bloomberg also reported earlier this year that Binance was under investigation by the US Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service.
“My efforts will focus on expanding Binance’s international anti-money laundering and investigative programs, as well as strengthening the organization’s relationships with regulatory and law enforcement agencies around the world,” Greg Monahan, the new appointee, said in a statement.
Binance chief executive Changpeng Zhao said last month he wanted to improve relations with regulators and said the exchange would seek their approval and establish a regional headquarters.
Wednesday’s statement said Binance has grown its international compliance team and advisory board by 500 percent since 2020.
But not all recent hires have stopped.
Brian Brooks, chief executive of Binance’s US arm and formerly acting US Comptroller of the Currency, resigned earlier this month, just three months after taking up his position.