Cryptocurrency exchange Binance hands rising star Richard Teng the main center to replace CZ

Appointment of Richard Teng To oversee the regional Binance Markets Outside the US, the Abu Dhabi-based one-time regulator has been positioned as the potential successor to Changpeng Zhou, who founded the world’s largest crypto exchange in 2017.

The enhanced role follows a report last month that Chu, better known as CZ, is looking to reduce his ownership binancethe US arm of the company — a move seen as an appeasement of US regulators.

Teng’s knowledge and experience as a regulator will inform his new role overseeing Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa as the exchange, often targeted by authorities, attempts to draw a line under mounting enforcement action related to conduct during early cryptocurrencies. years. Prior to heading up the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Financial Services Regulatory Authority, he was Chief Regulatory Officer at the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) and spent 13 years with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

In an interview, Teng fended off the idea that he was being groomed to take the helm from the 46-year-old CEO.

“It would be premature to speculate on such things,” Teng, 52, told CoinDesk. “Let me just stress that we have a very strong management team and many strong leaders looking after different parts of the business. I’m just happy to be a part of that and try to support the company’s agenda and aspirations.”

His new role, he noted, isn’t even a promotion, “just an expanded responsibility to help out [CZ] Look at certain things.”

But it is worth remembering this CZ himself said the company has a succession plan in place When he hired Teng in August 2021. Teng initially joined Binance as the CEO of the Singapore business, quickly moving up the ranks during a turbulent period in the digital asset sector.

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A former Binance employee, who requested anonymity, told CoinDesk via a direct message: “Both senior leadership and regulators have argued behind closed doors that Richard Teng is the only leader who can step in on CZ Niche and they both continue to build the company in their vision while helping to Bridging the current gap between industry and regulators.

Teng believes that Binance has been “open and frank about things in the past,” noting that the company is still very young. Binance, which will soon celebrate its sixth birthday, Teng said, started as a technology company at a time when most jurisdictions did not have proper regulations or guidelines. He added that today it has about 750 compliance officers, more than any other exchange.

“If you look at the past 18 to 24 months, the company has pivoted very strongly in terms of the direction of compliance travel,” Teng said. But we acknowledge that there are past issues. We want to resolve all these policy issues in a responsible manner with the parties involved and move forward to prove that we are a new institution.”

Meanwhile, cryptocurrency continues to evolve, both in terms of technological development and in terms of tectonic shifts at the jurisdictional level. In this global context, it could be argued that crackdown on the part of US regulators will see crypto hubs emerge and flourish elsewhere.

For example, Dubai is showing ambition to create a dedicated cryptocurrency regulatory agency, Teng said. Europe is also advancing on the regulatory framework for markets in crypto assets (MiCA), furthering France’s strategy of trying to attract cryptocurrency firms.

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“If you look at what Paris is doing, it is very beneficial for companies. Not only us, but a number of cryptocurrency players are trying to use Paris as a base for expansion within Europe.”

He also said that Binance is “excited” about Hong Kong’s opening up to cryptocurrency trading and licensing for businesses. Asked if Binance is under construction in the region, he said: “This is an announcement that we will make when the time comes.”

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