FINTECH: Binance bulks up legal team as crypto firm faces mounting regulatory scrutiny.

As published on cityam.com, Tuesday 17 May, 2022.

The world’s biggest crypto exchange, Binance, is seeking to bulk up its legal team by hiring more than 30 lawyers across Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

The Cayman Islands headquartered firm posted more than 30 openings for legal professionals, including for six positions in London.

The job ads come as the crypto industry faces mounting regulatory scrutiny amid concerns around the use of digital assets for tax avoidance, money laundering, and evasion of sanctions laws.

Speaking to City A.M. CMS lawyer Charles Kerrigan said increased regulation will mean crypto companies “will need the same level of legal support as other regulated firms,” as he noted we are likely to see a “trend” towards exchanges bolstering their legal teams.

The crypto specialist noted that “only a handful of lawyers” currently support the world’s $1trn+ crypto industry, as he argued there’s a shortage of lawyers with the necessary legal and technical expertise.

The openings come after Binance itself was made subject to a joint investigation from the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for money laundering and tax evasion.

The same year, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also blacklisted Binance over its failure to comply with anti-money laundering rules.

Although originally set up in Shanghai in 2017, Binance moved the exchange’s servers out of the country the same year in anticipation of China’s ban on crypto mining in 2021.

Founded by Chinese-Canadian billionaire Changpeng Zhao, the crypto exchange also handed over client data to Russian authorities in 2021, in the midst of an investigation into jailed party leader Alexei Navalny.

Binance has continued to operate in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. However, the firm placed restrictions on Russian customers in line with EU sanctions rules.

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