Binance has recently faced various regulatory challenges in multiple jurisdictions. Bloomberg reports that the crypto exchange might be preparing for a change in its top leadership.
The exchange has recently lost its Australian payments partner, which led to the suspension of Australian dollar deposits and trading pairs. The US derivatives regulator has also sued it for alleged violations of federal laws.
According to a Bloomberg report, Richard Teng, a former Abu Dhabi regulator who joined Binance as its Singapore CEO in August 2021, has emerged as a potential successor to founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao amid these growing regulatory issues.
Binance has been operating in a largely unregulated space since its inception in 2017, offering its global customers a wide range of crypto products and services. However, as the crypto industry matures and attracts more mainstream attention, regulators have become more vigilant and concerned about the risks and compliance issues associated with crypto activities.
Binance has faced scrutiny and warnings from authorities in the US, UK, Japan, Germany, Thailand, and other countries for operating without proper licenses or authorization.
Consequently, the exchange has taken steps to address compliance concerns and cooperate with regulators in response to these regulatory pressures. Binance has hired former regulators and compliance experts to bolster its legal team and suspended some of its offerings.
Despite these initiatives to comply with regional regulatory concerns, Binance faces challenges in certain jurisdictions. The exchange announced plans to exit the Canadian market last month due to unfavorable regulations.
Binance appoints Teng as head of regional markets
One of the critical steps Binance has taken to navigate these overwhelming regulatory hurdles is to promote Richard Teng to head its regional markets outside the US – a move the exchange made last week.
Teng has a wealth of regulatory experience, having served as the chief regulatory officer of the Singapore Exchange and the chief executive officer of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority at Abu Dhabi Global Market.
Teng’s appointment signals Binance’s intent to collaborate with regulators and build trust in the crypto industry. He was instrumental in securing Binance’s first license in Southeast Asia from Thailand, where it will operate a digital asset exchange and brokerage. He has also engaged with industry leaders and policymakers to enhance understanding and appreciation of blockchain and crypto technology.
Teng’s rise within Binance has also positioned him as a possible heir apparent to Zhao, who co-founded Binance and has been leading it since then. Zhao has hinted at his willingness to step down from his role if he finds a suitable successor who can do a better job than him. He praised Teng’s regulatory expertise and managerial skills and trusted him to lead Binance’s expansion plans.
Binance’s future depends on its ability to navigate regulatory challenges and ensure a smooth leadership transition. The exchange remains dominant in crypto but also faces growing competition and uncertainty. The promotion of Richard Teng and the hiring of compliance professionals shows that Binance is committed to addressing compliance concerns and cooperating with regulators.