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Cryptocurrency exchange Binance steps up plans for HQ in Ireland

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Changpeng Zhao, founder and chief executive officer of Binance. Photo: Wei Leng Tay/Bloomberg

Changpeng Zhao, founder and chief executive officer of Binance. Photo: Wei Leng Tay/Bloomberg

Changpeng Zhao, founder and chief executive officer of Binance. Photo: Wei Leng Tay/Bloomberg

The world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, is beefing up plans to establish a base in Ireland.

It comes amid a crackdown by China on cryptocurrency trading and mining, and intervention by regulatory bodies in a number of other countries.

Having broadened its corporate presence here last month with the creation of three new firms in Ireland, Binance has just registered another, called Binance Exchange (Ie).

After the Irish Independent first revealed last month that the cryptocurrency exchange had expanded its footprint in Ireland, Binance founder and chief executive Changpeng Zhao confirmed in an interview with Reuters that the firm is eyeing Ireland as a base when asked about the entities registered here.

“Historically, we claim that we don’t have headquarters,” he said. “We are actually just in the process of establishing a few headquarters in different parts of the world.”

Asked if Ireland featured in Binance’s plans to establish headquarters in a particular country, Mr Zhao replied: “Yes, it does.” He declined to give further details of the plans for the country.

In an interview earlier this month with Business Insider, Binance co-founder and chief marketing officer Yi He confirmed the group has narrowed its preferred location for a physical headquarters down to about five locations, including some in Europe.

The company established Binance (APAC) Holdings, Binance (Services) Holdings and Binance Technologies in Ireland on September 27. The first of those firms has now been renamed Binance Holdings (Ie). Mr Zhao is a director of the companies that Binance has formed in Ireland.

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“When we first started we wanted to embrace the decentralised principles, no headquarters, work all around the world, no borders,” Mr Zhao told Reuters. “It’s very clear now to run a centralised exchange, you need a centralised, legal entity structure behind it.”

Binance’s parent company is registered in the Cayman Islands.

In September, Binance said people in Singapore would no longer be able to trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin on its main platform, Binance.com.

That decision came just weeks after the Monetary Authority of Singapore told Binance to stop providing payment services to residents in the city state. The authority said Binance.com may be in breach of regulations by providing payment services without a licence.

In August, Binance said it would be terminating its futures and derivative products across Europe. It has also restricted product offerings in a number of other countries.

Trading volumes at Binance soared between July and September, suggesting the recent crackdown by regulators across the globe has had little impact on the platform’s business.

The company recently appointed Mark McGinness, former head of international relations at the Dubai Financial Services Authority, as its chief regulatory liaison officer as its seeks to shore up its credentials among watchdogs.

Additional reporting Reuters​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


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