Binance to Become “Fully Regulated Financial Institution”

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  • Binance plans to become a fully regulated entity, according to CEO Changpeng Zhao
  • Zhao told journalists the company will seek to establish regional offices around the globe
  • Zhao added that he may step down as Binance CEO if someone more suitable is found

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has announced that the exchange, which has for almost four years skirted regulatory laws, will “pivot to be a fully regulated financial institution” in the wake of intense interest and criticism from regulators worldwide. Binance has taken a battering from regulators in all four corners of the globe in recent months, and it seems that the pressure has finally told, with Zhao saying he would step aside if someone with more experience of working within a regulatory environment were better placed to run the company.

Regulatory Pressure Taking it Toll

The pressure on Binance by regulators was always lurking in the background as both Binance itself and the cryptocurrency industry grew, but in the last few months it has become overwhelming – the Italian, British, American, and even Thai regulators are among those either taking action against Binance or warning against its use.

This has led to Binance needing to take steps to quell the move against it, such as cancelling the launch of Binance UK, reducing the amount of cryptocurrency that non-KYC’d individuals can withdraw, and cutting the maximum leverage available from 125x to 20x.

Binance “Keeping Our Options Open” Regarding Stewardship

Binance has felt the need to act because of a shift in its landscape on two fronts – regulators are finally taking action against it and forcing change, and it has competition from other fully regulated exchanges, such as FTX.

During a virtual press conference yesterday, Zhao announced that Binance plans to establish a number of regional offices around the world, each of which will be regulated to local standards, adding that the company is “keeping our options open” with regards to succession planning. A Binance without Zhao is almost unthinkable, but it reflects the changing times. The need for Binance to act is indicative of the changing landscape, and those who want to trade and operate in the shadows away from regulators are going to find it tougher to do so as time passes.