By Tom Wilson
LONDON -Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance sees Ireland as part of its plans to establish a number of headquarters across the world, its CEO told Reuters on Thursday.
Regulators across the world have in recent months scrutinised Binance, the world’s largest exchange by trading volumes. Some have banned the platform from certain activities, while others have warned consumers that it was unlicensed to operate.
In response, CEO Changpeng Zhao said in July he wanted to improve relations with regulators, and would break with its “decentralised” structure and establish regional headquarters.
Last month, Binance registered three firms in Ireland, corporate registry documents show.
“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,” Changpeng Zhao said in an interview.
Asked if Ireland featured in Binance’s plans to establish headquarters in a particular country, Zhao replied: “Yes it does.” He declined to give further details of the plans for the country.
“When we first started we wanted to embrace the decentralised principles, no headquarters, work all around the world, no borders,” he said. “It’s very clear now to run a centralised exchange, you need a centralised, legal entity structure behind it.”
Trading volumes at Binance soared between July and September, suggesting a recent crackdown by regulators across the globe has had little impact on the platform’s business.
Binance’s corporate structure is opaque. Its holdings company is registered in the Cayman Islands, according to British court documents and Malaysia’s securities watchdog.