Under pressure from regulators around the world, the major exchange Binance wants to set up its headquarters in Ireland. So far, it has been operating worldwide for many years under what its CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) calls a “decentralized” structure.
An October 6 report by Irish media company Independant found that on September 27, BNB set up three subsidiaries in the country – Binance (APAC) Holdings, Binance (Services) Holdings and Binance Technologies – with CZ listed as the director of each company.
In an interview with Reuters published the next day, CZ said Binance is currently “in the process of establishing multiple headquarters in different regions of the world”. When asked if Ireland was part of Binance’s official headquarters plan, CZ replied “yes”.
“Historically, we insist that we don’t have a head office,” said CZ, adding:
“When we started, we wanted to stick to the principles of decentralization, no headquarters, global work, no borders. It is now very clear that in order to run a centralized exchange you need a centralized legal entity structure behind it. “
BNB’s move to improve its compliance comes because regulators around the world have acted to restrict the services offered by the exchange or to warn its citizens not to trade on the platform that is unlicensed.
BNB’s corporate structure has long been unclear, with Reuters reporting that its parent company is registered in the Cayman Islands.
After BNB was founded in China in July 2017, it quickly found it was playing regulated arbitrage around the world after the Chinese government launched a crackdown on cryptocurrency trading in the country earlier this year. quickly moved its headquarters to Tokyo before expanding to Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Binance moves to Malta
BNB expressed its intention to start operations in Malta in March 2018, with then Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat personally welcoming the company on social media. Binance continues to register its European service and charity businesses in the island nation.
Welcome to #Malta @binance. Our goal is to be global pioneers in the management of blockchain-based companies and the authority of quality and choice for top fintech companies -JM @SilvioSchembri https://t.co/3qtAQjOpuQ
– Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) 23 March 2018
Although the Maltese Financial Services Authority announced in July 2018 that it was still working on a regulatory framework for licensing crypto companies, the exchange appears to be becoming very pro-government.
Regular CZ appeared together with government officials and the then President of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, were appointed to the senior advisory boards of the Binance Charity and the Binance-backed Blockchain Charity.
Related: New Maltese government still wants to operate a “blockchain island”
In February 2020, MSFA announced that local reports claiming BNB was a Malta-based exchange were untrue, claiming that “Binance is not authorized by the MFSA to operate in the crypto space. Death and therefore not subject to regulatory oversight by the MFSA. “
While the reports seem to have taken many media and crypto communities by surprise, CZ went on Twitter to claim that “nothing has changed in Malta, for BNB or a crypto exchange. Malta has not yet issued any permits. “
In July of this year, the MFSA issued a new warning highlighting that Binance is not approved to operate in Malta.