Binance, the world's largest crypto trading exchange by volume, has recruited two former regulators to enhance its surveillance capabilities and strengthen its compliance efforts.
The exchange hired Seth Levy as head of market surveillance. Previously, he worked for U.S. regulator Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Binance said in a press release on Thursday. Steven McWhirter joins from the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as director of regulatory policy.
Binance is seeking to improve its image after coming under pressure from regulators worldwide in recent months. In the U.K., the FCA said Binance's local affiliate was not authorized to operate within the country; Japan’s Financial Services Agency said Binance is not registered to do business within the country; and as recently as, February the exchange halted activities in Israel. It appointed its first chief regulatory liaison officer in October.
The exchange launched a regulated subsidiary, Binance.US, in 2019. It has faced scrutiny from U.S. regulator the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over U.S. customers potentially trading derivatives. More regulation will be coming after President Joe Biden issued an executive order in March asking all federal agencies to coordinate their efforts in regulating the crypto sector.
Levy, who spent 16 years at FINRA and was most recently the senior director of trading analysis within the market regulation department, will oversee efforts to build out and implement a surveillance infrastructure and system.
"Our goal is to ensure that Binance users are protected from any form of nefarious activity or bad actors," Levy said in the release.
McWhirter was at the FCA for nine years, most recently as strategy and engagement manager in the data, technology and innovation division. The U.K. earlier this month said it wants to become a crypto hub, and has shifted its regulatory efforts up a few gears by announcing a crypto policy package.
CORRECTION (April 22, 07:30 UTC): Corrects dek and second graph to clarify that Levy previously worked at FINRA.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.