Binance — the world’s biggest cryptocurrency by trading volume — today announced the appointment of Mark McGinness, former head of international relations at the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), as its chief regulatory liaison officer, according to a company statement.
- McGinness’ appointment comes as Binance bolsters its compliance efforts and navigates regulatory headwinds around the world. Binance this week said that it would cease offering yuan trading on its customer-to-customer platform on Dec. 31 following China’s latest bans on crypto trading. Last week, the exchange said it would cease offering futures, options, margin and leveraged token products to South African users.
- A growing list of jurisdictions that have issued warnings or launched investigations of Binance, including the Cayman Islands, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Malaysia in July issued a public reprimand to Binance for illegally operating a digital asset exchange in the country, and Singapore has added Binance.com to its Investor Alert List of unregulated entities.
- McGinness, who has over 30 years of regulatory and compliance experience, was involved in establishing a global network of over 85 regulators and over 100 memoranda of understanding for the DFSA, Binance said. Prior to joining DFSA, McGinness was head of international relations and advisor to the chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and also held advisory positions as a subject expert for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. “The rapid mainstream adoption of blockchain and crypto technology signals a need for a deeper understanding and appreciation among governments, regulatory bodies and users alike,” McGinness said. “I aim to bridge this divide through working closely with industry leaders and policymakers to not only set best practices and regulatory frameworks, but also broaden their understanding of this dynamic industry.”
- In a statement, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said: “Mark joining our leadership is not only a huge step forward for Binance, but the industry as a whole, as we work to grow the industry responsibly with the support of regulators and policymakers across the globe.”
- Binance says it has grown its international compliance team and advisory board by 500% since last year. The exchange recently appointed former U.S. Treasury Criminal Investigator Greg Monahan as its global money laundering reporting officer. Despite being a centralized exchange, Binance has been operating in a decentralized manner, without specific headquarters. Amid the mounting regulatory scrutiny, Binance has said it would set up headquarters and take a more proactive approach to engaging with regulators.