Binance US weighs plans to go public, CEO CZ says
Binance.US, the American outpost of the world’s biggest crypto exchange, has seemingly plans to follow Coinbase’s path and go public one day.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao “CZ” said the US arm of the global platform is considering an initial public offering (IPO) despite the ongoing regulatory crackdown.
Speaking at the blockchain virtual summit REDeFiNE Tomorrow 2021, the CEO said his exchange is not in any hurry to float its US operations. CZ added that Binance, the parent company, is comfortable with its cash reserves and growth rates and sees no reason to rock the boat with a debut on the public markets.
“Binance US is looking at the IPO route. Most regulators are familiar with a certain pattern, or having headquarters, having corporate structure. But we are setting up those structures to make it easier for an IPO to happen,” the boss of Binance said.
Binance has launched its operations in the US market in late 2019 via a partnership with a FinCEN-registered company, BAM Trading Services. The exchange has licensed its matching engine and wallet technologies to its US partner, which handles operations in compliance according to local regulations.
CZ also revealed that he expects Binance to face heavy scrutiny in the future as the influential exchange is shifting from “a tech startup to a financial service.”
The CFTC confirmed last year that it had investigated whether Binance broke US laws by allowing Americans to trade cryptocurrency derivatives on the platform. Prior to the CFTC probe, Forbes published leaked documents that allegedly describe how CEO Changpeng planned to evade US regulations and profit from American investors.
Although US residents were not allowed to access Binance’s trading services, potential customers were taught how to mask their actual IP through virtual VPNs to disguise their locations.
Furthermore, the files checked by Forbes staff explicitly mention that Binance execs planned to undermine the ability of “anti-money laundering and U.S. sanctions enforcement to detect illicit activity,” and distracting all US watchdogs.
Elsewhere, Binance is facing a growing regulatory crackdown on multiple fronts. Most recently, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) restricted the exchange from carrying out regulated activities in the country.
Back in May, Binance’s UK arm was forced to withdraw its application to register with the FCA due to lapses in anti-money laundering procedures. Binance was also ordered to add a notice in a prominent place on its website showing users from the UK that it is not permitted to offer regulated activity.
Brazil’s financial markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM), also banned the influential crypto exchange from offering derivative products in the country.