Binance parts ways with CEO of Australian business

abdelaziz Fathi

Binance’s Australian subsidiary has parted ways with its chief executive officer Leigh Travers.

Travers joined Binance Australia in August 2021 coming from DigitalX, the world’s first publicly-listed blockchain firm. He spent there more than seven years, and previously served on the board of leading local blockchain industry body, Blockchain Australia.

At the time, Binance said Travers will prioritize building Binance Australia’s relationships with regulators and growing the company’s brand.

Travers’ departure comes amid debate and controversy around Binance Australia after it closed derivate positions of some users. The crypto exchange stated that it had incorrectly classified 500 Australian users as “wholesale investors.”

As per regulation, Binance was required to terminate services to these accounts immediately, but said it will fully compensate affected users for the losses incurred while trading derivatives.

Binance resumed offering its futures, options, and leveraged tokens products to Australian crypto traders in July 2022. The local arm of the world’s largest crypto ecosystem, Binance Australia Derivatives, has launched over-the-counter (OTC) derivative products for wholesale customers under its Australian Financial Services Licence.

The move came nearly 10 months after Binance suspended derivatives trading activities in Australia amid increased regulatory pressure. The crypto exchange, the biggest in the world by volume, also stopped offering crypto derivatives products in Brazil and Hong Kong, to get ahead on compliance as it has drawn scrutiny from regulators worldwide.

For CFDs brokers, the biggest blow has been ASIC’s decision to limit how much leverage they can offer to their clients to juice up bets. Regulated firms have been forced to limit the leverage they offer to a maximum of 30:1.

Additionally, the rules mandate negative account protection, ensuring that customers cannot lose more than their trading stake, avoiding a repeat of the debacle following the 2015 Swiss Franc collapse. Finally, the rules forbid bonuses and other incentives, whether monetary or non-monetary, that may have encouraged overtrading in recent years.

The new rules were introduced in 2020 and effectively harmonize ASIC’s requirements with product approval requirements introduced in Europe by ESMA, which also banned offering binary options and restricted leverage on CFDs.

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