Binance launched a new Australian fiat-to-crypto exchange platform Wednesday that CoinDesk has discovered is run by the founders of a company providing crypto payment services for the local tourist industry.
- Binance announced Wednesday its Australian platform – a local onramp to the broader Binance ecosystem – will now accept AUD deposits from local bank accounts.
- In the announcement, CEO Changpeng Zhao said the gateway will provide a "regulated platform" for Australian users.
- After CoinDesk made inquiries, a spokesperson said Binance Australia was a separate entity from the main exchange group – similar to Binance U.S.
- It is operated by InvestbyBit Pty, a Queensland-based private company and a licensed Australian digital currency exchange.
- Through InvestbyBit, Binance Australia is registered with AUSTRAC, one of the country's primary financial enforcement agencies, the spokesperson added.
- As the name suggests, InvestbyBit has close ties to TravelbyBit, a crypto payment provider for the tourist industry in which Binance invested $2.5 million in late 2018.
- InvestbyBit’s managing director is Jeff Yew, who was formerly TravelbyBit’s chief product officer.
- TravelbyBit co-founder Caleb Yeoh and COO Shireen Yip were also involved in InvestbyBit until December 2019, a spokesperson confirmed.
- When Binance Australia's precursor, Binance Lite, launched in early 2019, it was also operated by InvestbyBit.
CORRECTION (July 30, 09:30 UTC): A previous version of this article omitted the fact Jeff Yew was InvestbyBit's managing director and said Caleb Yeoh and Shireen Yip still worked there. This has since been corrected.
Edit (12:30 UTC, 31 July): We've also amended the headline to reflect the updated information.
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.