Binance — the world’s biggest cryptocurrency by trading volume — today announced the appointment of Greg Monahan, a former U.S. Treasury criminal investigator, as its global anti-money laundering officer, according to a company statement.
- Monahan’s appointment comes as Binance seeks to bolster its compliance efforts amid increasing scrutiny from regulators around the world — such as in Hong Kong, Germany, Malaysia, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States — over its stock tokens, derivatives trading services and know-your-customer (KYC) practices. Binance has in recent weeks reduced its services in a number jurisdictions, winding down stock tokens on Binance.com, ceasing futures and derivatives product offerings in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, and discontinuing South Korean won trading pairs and payment options.
- In June, Binance-owned Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX and its directors, Nischal Shetty and Sameer Mhatre, were investigated for alleged foreign exchange violations involving 27.9 billion rupees (US$382 million) related to cryptocurrency transactions.
- Monahan, who has nearly 30 years of government service experience, was responsible for tax, money laundering and other financial crime investigations. “My efforts will be focused on expanding Binance’s international anti-money laundering and investigation programs, as well as strengthening the organization’s relations with regulatory and law enforcement bodies worldwide,” Monahan said in a statement.
- Karen Leong, who has held the position since 2018, remains at Binance as director of compliance. Binance has grown its international compliance team and advisory board by 500% since 2020, with key appointments including former eToro Money UK Director of Compliance Jonathan Farnell as director of compliance, former Financial Action Task Force Executive Secretary Rick McDonell and former Head of the Canadian delegation to the FATF Josée Nadeau as compliance and regulatory advisors, and former U.S. senator Max Baucus as policy and government relations advisor.
- Earlier this month, Brian Brooks, a former U.S. Acting Comptroller of the Currency, resigned as CEO of Binance U.S., just three months into the job. “Despite differences over strategic direction, I wish my former colleagues much success, Brooks tweeted. “Exciting new things to come!” Brooks was chief legal officer at Coinbase from September 2018 to March 2020.
- In July, Binance CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, said he was looking for a senior person with a strong regulatory background to lead Binance as the company pivots from a technology start-up into a financial services company. Zhao also said that the company was looking to establish corporate structures — a major shift from its previous stance of having no head office.