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Binance is open to regulation, with CZ noting that regulation is going to help its growth the most.
Changpeng Zhao, the Chief Executive Officer of Binance Holdings Ltd, the largest exchange in the world by trading volume, has unveiled the likelihood of setting its central headquarters in France by 2022. Speaking with French outlet, Les Echos in an interview, Zhao, known on social media as CZ said the suitability of France as both its regional and central headquarters is dependent on whether the exchange is able to secure a license from the Autorité des marchés financiers to operate as a digital asset service provider in the country.
When asked how the pursuit of the regulatory license is going, CZ noted that the French regulator has attended to Binance in a “Pro-business” manner, however, very demanding.
“What they expect from us is very clear. They want us to set up in France but they will not give us a free ride on the pretext that we are the main player in the industry. At present, we do not solicit clients and do not advertise in France. We operate as an international platform. Once we have the clearances, we can go and get the clients. We will have easier access to banks and fiat money,” he said.
CZ is optimistic with respect to the timeline for the license pursuit he pegs around 6 to 12 months time, after which he hopes to clear the path for the firm to set up camp in the country.
“Our priority is to obtain local authorizations to set up crypto exchanges. There is not yet a passport for this type of activity, which means that we have to obtain an authorization for each country. As soon as possible, France will be a natural choice for a regional, and even perhaps global, head office,” he added.
The choice of France is understandable as the Binance boss acknowledged the country to be one of the most advanced financial hubs in Europe with clear rules governing the crypto ecosystem.
Binance France, Binance Everywhere
Binance has had a turbulent year from regulators around the world, with declarations that CZ noted have largely damaged its reputation to an extent.
Authorities from Singapore, South Africa, Malaysia, Italy, and Hong Kong amongst others have all filed notices warning the investment community that the Binance exchange is operating illegally on their shores. CZ said in the Les Echos interview that the firm started out as a decentralized entity, and has now come to terms with the need to have established regional headquarters that will prioritize adherence to local regulations more.
Binance is open to regulation, with CZ noting that regulation is going to help its growth the most. He, however, said regulating smaller entities who may not have the resources to meet the required demands will stiffen competition in no small measure. This he identifies as one of the drawbacks of regulations for the growing digital currency ecosystem.
“We want to be regulated. At this stage of our development, this will allow us to grow faster. 5% of the world’s population – 400 million people – have already embraced crypto, they are pioneers. We now want to convince the remaining 95%. And to gain their trust, we need to be regulated, that we have contacts with local governments, that we have offices where they can come to complain if there is a problem,” he said.
Changpeng Zhao said the company is proactive in its regulatory pursuits with about 15% of its workforce in charge of regulations and compliance.