Globetrotting Binance looks to Ireland for ‘centralized’ headquarters

Binance established three subsidiaries in Ireland during September and the globe trotting exchange may be settling down.

Under pressure from regulators around the world, major exchange Binance is looking to establish a headquarters in Ireland. Until now it has operated globally for years under what its chief executive, Changpeng Zhao (CZ) has described as a “decentralized” structure.

An Oct. 6 report from Irish media outlet Independant noted that Binance had established three subsidiaries in the country on Sept. 27 — Binance (APAC) Holdings, Binance (Services) Holdings, and Binance Technologies — with CZ listed as the director for each.

In an interview with Reuters published the next day, CZ stated that Binance is currently “in the process of establishing a few headquarters in different parts of the world.” When asked if Ireland was part of Binance’s plans for formal headquarters, CZ responded: “Yes, it does.”

“Historically, we claim that we don’t have headquarters,” said CZ, adding:

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Despite the Malta Financial Services Authority announcing in July 2018 that it was still working on a regulatory framework for licensing crypto firms, the exchange appeared to become very cozy with the local administration.

CZ frequently appeared alongside government officials and then-President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca was appointed to the senior advisory board of both Binance Charity and the Binance-backed Blockchain Charity Foundation.

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In February 2020, the MSFA announced that local reports claiming Binance to be a Malta-based exchange were false, asserting that “Binance is not authorized by the MFSA to operate in the cryptocurrency sphere and is therefore not subject to regulatory oversight by the MFSA.”

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While the reports appeared to catch much of the media and crypto community off-guard, CZ took to Twitter asserting that “Nothing has changed in Malta, for Binance or any other crypto exchanges. No licenses were granted to anyone by Malta, as of yet.”

In July of this year, the MFSA issued a fresh warning emphasizing that Binance is not licensed to operate in Malta.

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