Binance — the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world — is looking at setting up regional headquarters in Ireland, according to Reuters.

Fast facts

  • “Historically, we claim that we don’t have headquarters. We are actually just in the process of establishing a few headquarters in different parts of the world,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao told Reuters. Zhao confirmed that Ireland was part of Binance’s headquarters plans but declined to provide further details on Binance’s plans.
  • Zhao’s comments follows a report by local Irish media this week that Binance had established three companies — Binance (APAC) Holdings, Binance (Services) Holdings and Binance Technologies — in Ireland on Sept. 27. Binance registered its first Binance firm in Ireland — Binance (Ireland) Holdings — in August last year.
  • Despite being a centralized exchange, Binance has been operating in a decentralized manner, without specific headquarters.  Amid mounting regulatory scrutiny around the world, Binance has said it would set up headquarters and take a more proactive approach to engaging with regulators.
  • Singapore, where Zhao reportedly resides, could be another contender for regional headquarters. The country’s regulator — the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) — recently placed on its Investor Alert List and warned that “may be in breach of the Payment Services Act (“PS Act”) for carrying on the business of providing payment services to, and soliciting such business from Singapore residents without an appropriate license.” Binance has since announced that it will restrict users in Singapore from buying cryptocurrencies using fiat, spot trading and liquid swaps on its main platform from Oct. 26.
  • However, Binance currently operates in Singapore as a separate entity, Binance Asia Services (BAS), with an exemption from holding a license as part of transitional arrangements under the city-state’s PS Act for the provision of digital payment token services. The exemption allows entities to provide services while their license applications are being processed, and will cease when an entity’s license application is approved, rejected or withdrawn. BAS’ license application is currently under review, according to MAS.

See related article: Crypto exchange Binance wants centralized headquarters amid regulatory heat