Despite its recently rocky relationship with global regulators, leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has revealed that its U.S.-based division, Binance US, is considering going public.
Binance US Considers IPO
Changpeng Zhao (CZ), founder and CEO of Binance, made this known at the ReDeFiNE Tomorrow 2021 blockchain virtual conference. Speaking on the future plans and the regulatory issues that his exchange has been facing, CZ hinted that Binance US is looking to go public via an initial public offering (IPO).
According to the CEO, the U.S. division, which operates separately from Binance, is setting up structures that will allow it to meet regulatory requirements for an IPO.
“Binance US is looking at the IPO route. Most regulators are familiar with a certain pattern or having headquarters, having a corporate structure. But we are setting up those structures to make it easier for an IPO to happen,” CZ said.
CZ: Binance Doesn’t Have Headquarters
Binance has been facing serious regulatory pressure from financial watchdogs all over the world. The lack of a registered head office, which has raised many questions among members of the crypto industry, may have contributed to the increasing scrutiny from regulators.
Recall that CZ said in May at the ConsenSys’ Ethereal Summit 2020 that his company has no headquarters. According to the CEO, not having a specific location as the main office is the beauty of blockchain, and moreover, “Bitcoin doesn’t have an office.”
Two months ago, CZ reiterated his stance at Ethereal 2021 that Binance doesn’t have headquarters because he works from home and the company’s “leadership team are not sitting in one office.”
Regulators Going After Binance
Over the past few weeks, regulators from around the world have seemingly ganged up against Binance. In June, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warned the leading crypto exchange that it is not authorized to provide its services in the country.
Following that, several other countries, including Japan, Singapore, and the United States have also issued warnings to the exchange. Taking it up a notch, Thailand’s SEC filed a criminal complaint against the company for offering crypto services without a license.
The increasing regulatory pressure on the exchange led many to raise theories about whether the move was a threat to the crypto market considering Binance’s position in the industry or just plain old FUD.
Shifting to a Financial Services Firm
Binance’s CEO pointed out in his statement during the ReDeFiNE virtual event that the company is unfazed by the increased scrutiny, given that it does not intend on staying a startup forever.
According to CZ, Binance “is in the mindset of shifting from a tech startup to a financial service,” therefore it will ultimately be faced with heavy regulations in the future.
Currently, though, it has been finding it somewhat difficult to cooperate with regulators. But the Binance founder also noted that the exchange has been actively increasing its compliance efforts and hiring former executives in renowned regulatory positions.
In the latest move to strengthen its compliance team, Binance hired former eToro’s board member and Head of Compliance Jonathan Farnell as its new Director of Compliance.