Amid regulatory woes, Binance CEO details France HQ ambitions

Binance co-founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao has said that he hopes to obtain digital asset service provider status in France in 2022. The exchange is a leading player in the market globally, accounting for 70% of crypto exchange transactions. 

Following Binance’s $116 million initiative with nonprofit French Fintech to build a research hub and accelerator in France, the company now appears to be looking to settle down in the country. This is despite telling Reuters last month that Ireland was a part of its HQ plans. 

"France will be a natural choice for a regional, and even perhaps global, head office," said Zhao in an interview with Les Echoes.


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It has been far from plain sailing for the world’s biggest crypto exchange lately — with regulators from all corners of the globe clamping down on it. In the United Kingdom and Japan, financial regulators have warned the company against operating without approval. In Germany, Binance’s proposed stock tokens drew the ire of regulators in the country. 

Despite its tough regulatory reception, Zhao claims to welcome regulation and believes that its 600 strong compliance team will allow Binance to weather the storm. The company added 150 employees responsible for compliance and relations with regulators in 2021, meaning that more than 15% of its total 3500 employees are now dedicated to soothing its regulatory nerves.   

We want to be regulated,” he said. “At this stage of our development, this will allow us to grow faster. 5% of the world's population — 400 million people — have already adopted crypto, they are pioneers. We now want to convince the remaining 95%.” 

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Tom is a deals reporter at The Block covering venture capital, fundraises, fintech and M&A. Before joining, he was an editorial intern at the FT-backed platform Sifted where he reported on neobanks, payment firms and blockchain startups. You can reach him by email at [email protected] or Telegram @tommatsuda.