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Where is Binance’s central location? Answer Will Arrive In Time

Source: Decrypt
1658225947 19 Jul / 10:19

Changpeng Zhao, or CZ, the world's most prominent cryptocurrency exchange CEO, said in May of 2017 that Binance has no headquarters since it is a decentralized organization, in line with the decentralized nature of the cryptocurrency sector.

Additionally, he contested the notion of a headquarters: "Is that a sitting-room office? I have worked remotely for three and a half years. According to most people, our leadership staff is not located in a single office, and we do not have a location that meets the headquarters description."

After a little over a year, CZ's response to the question has altered. He can still not disclose where Binance's headquarters are located but claims the answer is forthcoming.

During the most recent episode of Decrypt’s gm podcast, he stated, “We have a global holding company, a global holding entity for the centralized exchange.”

Where is it then? “We have not yet announced it,” he remarked with a chuckle. “We will announce that in due time. But it’s very simple. It’s not that complicated.”

CZ is responsible for the complication. Binance is five years old and has spent most of its brief history battling with regulators throughout the globe despite its phenomenal growth. During its initially several years, the corporation purportedly had offices in China, Japan, Taiwan, and Malta.

It registered in the Cayman Islands in 2017. It also registered in Seychelles in 2019. In 2020, however, regulators began highlighting the company’s absence of licensing. Malta published a statement indicating that Binance is not authorized to operate in the country. Malaysia followed suit, stating that Binance was unlawfully functioning in the nation.

Now CZ has altered his strategy, which he admits was ineffective with regulators.

“We did capitulate,” he told Decrypt. “When we started five years ago, there was very little regulatory framework. And in fact, most of the regulators we spoke to… they told us, ‘We don’t regulate this industry, you’re off, we’re not involved.’ So back in those days, we were embracing the decentralized philosophy, and it worked really well for us.”

As the sector has developed, authorities no longer declare, “You’re free to go.” Now, their initial inquiry is, “Where is your headquarters?” And we said, if this is what we want, what’s the best route forward… as a centralized corporation, as a centralized exchange? It is preferable to provide them with this structure. Therefore, we established local offices, local organizations, and employed local compliance and legal personnel.”

CZ boasts that Binance has created offices in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, and Paris throughout the outbreak. “When people inquire about our headquarters, the structure is now in place. Thus, we now satisfy both parties.”

That does not resolve the question of the headquarters. Many multinational corporations have offices worldwide, yet they maintain a single address. How does CZ respond when a regulator inquires about the company’s location? He stated, “Well, if we’re in France, we say ‘Look, right here in Paris’.” “If we’re talking about the Middle East, it’s Bahrain and Dubai and Abu Dhabi. So now people can go to their nearest office, and if they have an issue, they can find us, they can talk to us.”

This may appear more deflection, but for CZ, it marks genuine development. Additionally, he claims that Binance US, the company’s independent organization in the United States that was established three years ago, has received money transmitter licenses in 46 states, a difficult task given that each state has distinct requirements. (As of 10 July, New York, Vermont, Texas, and Hawaii are the holdouts.)

Along with his efforts to get along with regulators, CZ is beginning to sound more like a politician, perhaps taking a cue from his rival Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, who has made so many trips to Washington (even after relocating his company to The Bahamas) to lobby on behalf of the industry.

CZ is cautious about asserting that the United States has stricter crypto rules than any other nation, even as other sector heavyweights complain about SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s indifference.

CZ said, “I do not believe the U.S. is behind.” “The U.S. is more strict on yield-generating products, interest-generating products, futures, et cetera. Different countries are a little bit different… The U.S. has so many different political parties, so many different agencies. And even in the Senate, you can see that some senators are very pro-innovation. Some senators want, like, ‘Let’s protect the U.S. dollar to the maximum, for the longest time, for as long as we can, and not have the next thing.’ Or maybe they don’t realize that they will not have the next thing. But you know, there’s debate. It’s a democracy.”

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