Binance hires chief regulatory liaison officer

Mark McGinness has over three decades of experience as a financial services regulator

                                
Binance has grown its international compliance team and advisory board by 500% since 2020 - Photo: Shutterstock
                                

Binance has hired former head of international relations at the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), Mark McGinness as its chief regulatory liaison officer.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, has made a commitment to lead the industry in working more closely with regulators and wishes to provide a path for the crypto exchange to become a financial institution. Since 2020, Binance has grown its international compliance team and advisory board by 500%.

Regulators from around the world, including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), have issued warnings and bans on Binance. In July, Binance updated its website and app with a notice about Binance Markets Ltd (BML) as requested by the FCA. BML was told by the FCA that it must cease all regulated activities with “immediate effect”.

The financial watchdog pointed out that while it did not regulate cryptoassets, such as bitcoin or ether, it did regulate certain cryptoasset derivatives, such as futures contracts, contracts for difference and options, as well as those cryptoassets it considered to be securities.

Due to this, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao stated in the same month that he wishes to improve relations with regulators, to break from its “decentralised” structure and establish regional headquarters.

Recently, Binance also hired Greg Monahan, former US Treasury Criminal Investigator as global money laundering reporting officer (GMLRO).

Bridging the divide between blockchain and government

McGinness has over three decades of experience as a leading financial services regulator, where he has worked with industry stakeholders, international regulators and regional securities and insurance commissions.

During his time at the DFSA, McGinness “was instrumental in establishing a global network of over 85 regulators and settled 100 Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) for the financial centre.”

Prior to his role at the DFSA McGinness was head of international relations and advisor to the chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).      

The new Binance chief regulatory liaison officer has also held advisory positions as a subject expert for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

“I aim to bridge this divide through working closely with industry leaders”

McGinness said: “The rapid mainstream adoption of blockchain and crypto technology signals a need for a deeper understanding and appreciation among governments, regulatory bodies and users alike.

I aim to bridge this divide through working closely with industry leaders and policymakers to not only set best practices and regulatory frameworks, but also broaden their understanding of this dynamic industry."

Zhao said: “Mark is one of the most respected regulators and compliance experts in the industry. He brings with him over 30 years of invaluable experience working alongside key stakeholders in the financial services industry.

Mark joining our leadership is not only a huge step forward for Binance, but the industry, as we work to grow the industry responsibly with the support of regulators and policymakers across the globe."

Further reading: Binance hires two former IRS special agents to bolster security

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