Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, but due to regulations, it’s not available in the most -hungry nation on earth, the U.S.
In a likely bid to change that, the exchange has wooed Max Baucus, a former Democratic senator from Montana, to join as an advisor on policy and government relations.
According to Binance, Baucus will consult with U.S. regulators and legislators on policies that will help grow not only Binance but the broader crypto ecosystem.
Baucus, who helmed the powerful Senate Finance Committee from 2007 to 2014, suggested the revolutionary power of cryptocurrencies and blockchain drew him to the role. “It’s a privilege to assist in appropriately navigating the complex political and regulatory frameworks that hold the key to enabling wider adoption,” he said in a press release.
Crypto traders stateside cannot currently legally access Binance. Instead, residents in most states can use its San Francisco-based partner, Binance.US. But the American exchange has far fewer coins on offer—54 compared to Binance’s 340. Moreover, Binance.US does not offer crypto derivatives trading, while Binance does.
Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao told Decrypt via email that Baucus' prior political roles in the US and China—after serving in the Senate, he served as US ambassador to China during President Obama’s second term—make him a dual threat. “Sen. Baucus’ experience both in and outside of the US is instrumental for the next phase of growth for truly global blockchain businesses,” the CEO said.
According to Zhao, there are quite a few things Binance would like to pick Baucus' brain on. “But this is a strategic collaboration at a super senior level,” he told Decrypt. “And I believe we will see fruits from a strategic level first.”
The longtime senator joins his erstwhile legislative aide and protege, former Obama Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, in moving to the cryptocurrency world. Crypto wallet and exchange Blockchain.com named Messina to its board earlier this week.
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