Amid rising regulatory scrutiny, crypto exchange Binance is changing tact with plans to set up regional headquarters globally.
According to CEO Changpeng Zhao, the move seeks to help the exchange earn regulatory approval from local authorities everywhere, Reuters reports.
“We want to be licensed everywhere…From now on, we’re going to be a financial institution,” he said.
He added that the company would be shifting from its previous decentralized model and maturing from its startup base.
The development comes after Zhao announced that Binance is working towards doubling the compliance team by the end of the year. Zhao added that his aim is to improve relations with regulators as a means of improving the exchange’s operation.
In a surprise move, Zhao stated that he is ready to vacate his role as CEO once he finds an ideal replacement. The executive clarified that the recent regulatory crackdown is the reason to force him to resign
Increased regulatory spotlight
Most financial regulators globally have focused on Binance with allegations that the exchange might be supporting criminal activities. Money laundering and scams have been notable concerns.
The regulatory concern has emerged from countries including; Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, and Thailand.
In the UK, the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, ruled that Binance is not approved to operate in the country as a crypto asset business.
Furthermore, the United States regulator, the Federal Trade Commission, received 760 customer complaints against Binance since June 2020. The complaints included the inability to withdraw money from the exchange and suspicious activity.
Amid the scrutiny, Binance still ranks as the leading global exchange growing almost ten-fold over the last year to $668 billion last month.