Binance Holdings Ltd. is currently in talks with former senior bourse executive Richard Teng for its Singapore chief executive role.
Teng returned to Singapore in April, after stepping down as head of the Abu Dhabi Global Market for six years in March. Before that, Teng served as Singapore Exchange Ltd.’s chief regulatory officer, in addition to spending 13 years at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
The world’s largest crypto exchange has also approached other executives about the position, according to a confidential source. It is still unclear if Teng has accepted the position, as both Teng and Binance declined to comment on the subject.
Although established later than many other cryptocurrency exchanges in 2017, Binance quickly gained market share. It did this partly by being more aggressive and following fewer regulations. This strategy now seems to have come back around, as regulators around the world converge on the exchange.
Regulators’ concerns have broadly focused on Binance’s practice of allowing residents of many countries where it is not authorized to operate to use its service. It has also struggled to build up its anti-money laundering oversight in line with its rapid growth.
Market supervisors in financial centers including the UK, Hong Kong, and Japan have all issued warnings and restrictions over the past month. Disputes have been mounting recently from users who can’t get the money they are claiming. Additionally, with Binance’s location unclear, no one is sure whom to lodge complaints with.
Binance founder and Chief Executive Officer Changpeng “CZ” Zhao spoke to some of these concerns at a recent press conference. He said the firm will establish multiple headquarters globally and is currently looking for regional CEOs. Compliance experience is a significant priority for someone who could eventually become CZ’s successor.
Meanwhile, Binance’s Singapore unit is tenuously operating within a grace period, while the MAS reviews its application for a digital payment token services license. After Binance came under international scrutiny, the regulator said last month it would follow up as required with the local unit.
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