Richard Teng: Steering Binance in a New Era of Compliance

With Binance founder Changpeng "CZ" Zhao gone, the new CEO has big shoes to fill as he's tasked with cleaning up the reputation of the world's largest crypto exchange.

AccessTimeIconDec 4, 2023 at 1:16 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 6:07 p.m. UTC

After Binance came under U.S. Department of Justice investigation and its founder Changpeng "CZ" Zhao resigned, the crypto exchange elevated its head of regional markets to CEO. Before then, Richard Teng, the man tasked with navigating the company through its next chapter, was little known.

So, who is the man tasked with cleaning up the reputation of the world's biggest crypto company?

This profile is part of CoinDesk's Most Influential 2023. For the full list, click here.

Born in Singapore, Teng has over three decades worth of experience in both financial services and regulation.

He spent 13 years at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), serving as a director, and then became chief regulatory officer of the Singapore Exchange (SGX). Teng then went on to head up the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) within the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), one of the leading international financial centers in the United Arab Emirates, for six years.

He joined Binance in 2021 as CEO of the crypto exchange's Singapore division, quickly rising through the ranks to oversee the Middle East and North Africa region, and later, global markets outside the U.S. Under his leadership, Binance secured its full license within ADGM in November 2022.

In March this year, U.S regulators sought to ban Binance, alleging it had been operating in the country illegally. By November, the exchange pleaded guilty to U.S criminal charges of breaking sanctions and money-transmitting laws, agreeing to pay a $4.3 billion fine. Zhao himself pleaded guilty, agreeing to pay $50m and step down as CEO. Teng's elevation left the crypto world in shock.

Zhao called him a "highly qualified leader," adding that "he will navigate the company through its next period of growth".

Teng's appointment as CEO reflects more than a change in leadership; it symbolizes Binance's shift towards a more regulated and compliant future. Teng must steer Binance through immediate challenges, like the U.S. crackdown, and to establish it as a model for regulatory compliance in the crypto industry. (Though, it should be said, no major crypto company is less dependent on U.S. action (and inaction) on crypto matters.)

In his first blog, Teng said he was honored to step into the role, adding that he would focus on reassuring Binance's 150 million users about "the financial strength, security and safety of the company."

Teng has reiterated that Binance is "here to stay," adding that the company's foundation stands "stronger than ever."


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Lorna Blount

Lorna Blount is a former BBC World News Journalist. She advises Web3 projects and VC funds on strategic communications and investor relations, primarily in the GCC region. She holds a mix of cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH and SOL.