The new head of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, Richard Teng, must find a way to ensure that the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange can remain competitive as it navigates both crippling financial sanctions and US government oversight.
According to Fortune, the new Binance CEO says the exchange is at a stage in its development where it is transforming from an unruly tech startup into a traditional financial company, comparing the firm to “a child getting ready to go to preschool.”
At the same time, he admitted that Binance made several mistakes at the stage of its rapid development. The exchange became the world’s largest crypto firm within a year of its founding, but it has learned lessons since, he says.
Teng is also confident that he can take Zhao’s place, noting his ability to steward the beleaguered exchange forward:
“I need to stress that I have the confidence and trust of CZ, the leadership team, and our staff members for me to lead this very important franchise going forward. And that confidence is very important. I think that transcends the responsibility of our 150 million users, and the livelihood of our 1,000 employees.”Richard Teng, new Binance CEO
Teng added that one of his main goals will be to help the crypto industry achieve the adoption of harmonized global regulations, similar to those that have long existed in the banking industry. This will include resolving the ongoing debate over whether different types of digital assets should be classified as a commodity, a security, or something else that reflects the particular blockchain technology that underlies them.
When asked whether Binance would adopt a traditional corporate structure under his leadership, Teng said yes. He says it will include a board of directors, a stable address, and transparency when it comes to finances.
Once you have all those corporate structure in place, I think those financials will be what we’ll be sharing. We’ve all known that auditors [require them], but the regulatory agencies will require all those things as well. So we are committed to transparency as an organizationRichard Teng
Teng joined Binance two years ago, starting as the head of the Singapore branch and eventually taking the position of managing all regions outside the US. With over 30 years experience in financial services and regulation, he previously held key positions at the Global Markets Financial Services Authority in Abu Dhabi and the Singapore Exchange.
He took the position of CEO of Binance after Changpeng Zhao (CZ) left that post in November. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accuses management of the crypto exchange, including CZ, of dealing in securities without proper registration and misleading investors regarding supervisory mechanisms.
The exchange has since been hit with a $4.3 billion fine in addition to its former CEO being charged with criminal violations including those violating the Banks Secrecy Act.