Binance beefs up policy team with US regulator hire

By Oliver Smith on Friday 22 April 2022

Savings and Investment

Crypto is gearing up for a regulatory showdown.

Binance beefs up policy team with US regulator hire
Image source: Changpeng Zhao/Binance.

Just weeks after appointing former FCA manager Steven McWhirter as its global director of regulatory policy, crypto exchange Binance has hired another former regulator in the US.

Seth Levy, who spent over a decade at the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), is joining Binance as head of market surveillance to oversee the implementation of infrastructure that will address regulatory risk when trading digital assets worldwide.

Levy most recently spent five years at Citadel as global head of surveillance, where he implemented a surveillance system for the US equities market to monitor for misconduct and check for compliance.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the team to extend Binance’s already excellent surveillance capabilities to the next level. Our goal is to ensure that Binance users are protected from any form of nefarious activity or bad actors,” said Levy.

“We will work to further proactively engage regulators and other market participants to strengthen market integrity, user protection, and enhance public confidence in the crypto market.”

The news of Levy’s hire came just hours after Binance finally introduced sanctions for its Russian users, after ignoring the calls of regulators and customers, limiting accounts in Russia with over $10,000 worth of assets.

“In a dynamic and developing regulatory crypto and blockchain environment, Binance continues to attract world-class experts that believe in the importance of providing a safe and secure platform for users,” said Binance CEO CZ (Changpeng Zhao), commenting on the appointments of Levy and McWhirter. 

“Steven and Seth joining our global compliance team is not only a huge boost to Binance, but also the broader crypto and blockchain industry, as we continue to lead the sector by working collaboratively with regulators, policymakers, and industry leaders to grow the ecosystem responsibly and sustainably.”

The hiring of two senior former regulators in as many weeks points to the rising tide of regulatory attention that the largest crypto exchanges like Binance are receiving.

Last year, the FCA barred Binance from undertaking any regulated activity in the UK, although earlier this month Zhao told CNBC that “the tide is definitely turning” in favour of crypto when it comes to regulation.

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