In the aftermath of a historic $4.3 billion settlement with U.S. authorities, the recently appointed CEO of Binance, Richard Teng, reflects on the exchange’s trajectory. Teng clarifies that as part of the settlement terms, the former CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao is barred from daily operational involvement.
Despite this restriction, Teng, who assumed the role just two weeks ago, exudes enthusiasm for the challenges that lie ahead as he steers the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Teng notes a positive shift in Binance’s outlook, attributing recent regulatory scrutiny to the resolution of compliance gaps during the platform’s rapid expansion since 2017.
The CEO acknowledges early compliance shortcomings that resulted in a record $4.3 billion settlement, emphasizing that user funds and security have always been a top priority. The settlement mandates a five-year monitorship and significant compliance efforts to ensure Binance’s complete withdrawal from the U.S.
Teng refrains from disclosing details of Binance.US’s legal tussle with the SEC but affirms the company’s commitment to meeting settlement requirements and addressing the SEC case costs. The means of payment for the $4.3 billion penalty remain undisclosed due to non-disclosure agreements.
Addressing perceptions of unequal treatment, Teng compares Binance’s situation with fines in the financial sector, asserting that the exchange aims to become the most regulated globally, operating in 18 jurisdictions. Binance’s renewed focus on compliance is evident in its strategic hires with regulatory backgrounds.
Despite global operations, Binance establishes regional headquarters in the UAE and France, with Teng emphasizing the importance of clear regulations and fostering institutional adoption. The implementation of Europe’s Markets in Crypto-Assets regulations aligns with Binance’s expansion plans.
Teng, who previously lived in the UAE, shares his vision for the future of finance and highlights the role of clear regulations and institutional adoption. The UAE and Europe’s regulatory landscape provide Binance with strategic bases for regional operations.
Stepping into CZ’s shoes, Teng acknowledges the challenge but emphasizes his unique values and expertise. Binance, under Teng’s leadership, marks a maturation phase, with the CEO reporting to a board of directors as the governing authority.
Beyond the boardroom, Teng maintains a routine of exercise and reading, citing Elon Musk’s biography as his recent literary choice. The new CEO remains committed to navigating Binance through its evolving landscape.