Richard Teng, (in photo above), the newly appointed CEO of Binance, has opted to keep the location of the cryptocurrency exchange’s global headquarters under wraps. This decision echoes the stance of his predecessor, Changpeng Zhao, who maintained a similar silence before Binance admitted guilt to US criminal charges. Teng, who assumed the role of CEO last month, succeeded Zhao after the company pleaded guilty to charges related to money laundering and international sanctions violations.
Zhao had consistently asserted that Binance had no fixed global headquarters, a claim Teng upheld during a recent appearance at the FT Crypto and Digital Assets Summit in London. When asked about the location of Binance’s headquarters, Teng declined to disclose the information, emphasizing that the company had undergone audits in regulated jurisdictions. However, he refrained from naming the audit firms involved in the process.
Teng spoke on the secrecy surrounding Binance’s headquarters, stating, “Why do you feel so entitled to those answers?” He defended the company’s position by asserting that they provide necessary information to regulators and questioned the need for public disclosure, stating, “Is there a need for us to share all of this information publicly? No.”
Case filed by SEC
Binance recently agreed to pay a hefty $4.3 billion in penalties to settle US criminal charges and a civil case initiated by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Despite this resolution, a civil case filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission remains pending.
Teng, a former regulator in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, shed light on Binance’s regional headquarters, disclosing that the European base is in France, and the Middle East headquarters is located in Dubai. However, he remained tight-lipped about the global headquarters, mentioning it would be disclosed “as and when it’s appropriate.”
Under Zhao’s leadership, Binance concealed significant ties to China for years, despite public statements suggesting the exchange had severed its connections with the country. Teng acknowledged the mistakes made during that period but emphasized that Binance had “moved past them” through agreements with US authorities.
As part of its settlement, Binance agreed to up to five years of oversight by an independent compliance monitor. Teng views this compliance monitor as a positive step, instilling confidence in users, including institutional clients who are approaching Binance more aggressively.
Teng’s comments come amid a backdrop of increasing cryptocurrency prices, with Bitcoin and Ethereum experiencing a surge. Binance’s share of the crypto spot market had declined to around 32% by the end of November, compared to over 50% at the beginning of the year. However, Teng expressed optimism about the exchange’s resurgence, noting that its market share has been gradually recovering since reaching agreements with US authorities.