Crypto exchange Binance is increasing its presence in Ireland amid lingering questions about where the crypto exchange is based.
Last month, the Irish Independent reported that the exchange registered three firms in the jurisdiction. Those firms were Binance (APAC) Holdings, Binance (Services) Holdings, and Binance Technologies—all of which were formally established on September 27, 2021.
Today, the Irish Independent reported that Binance has registered another Irish entity, called Binance Exchange (Ie).
Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the exchange’s CEO, also said last month that Ireland featured in the exchange’s plans to establish headquarters in a particular jurisdiction.
“When we first started we wanted to embrace the decentralized principles, no headquarters, work all around the world, no borders. It’s very clear now to run a centralized exchange, you need a centralized, legal entity structure behind it,” CZ told Reuters.
That centralized legal entity structure may eventually make landfall in Ireland, but according to a Binance spokesperson, the exchange is also looking elsewhere.
“We are keeping all of our options open and we are currently considering multiple places in order to meet user needs, regulatory requirements, and of course, a place that suits our needs as a company,” a spokesperson told Decrypt today.
“Should any of those options solidify, we’ll provide updates as appropriate,” they added.
Regulators take aim at Binance
What we know for certain is that Binance has spent the year fielding regulatory controversy after controversy.
In Holland and Japan, both jurisdictions’ regulators issued consumer warnings about the crypto exchange. In the Cayman Islands and Italy, regulators said the exchange is not licensed in their countries.
In Malaysia, Binance faced enforcement action for operating illegally in the country.
In Singapore—where CZ lives—the regulator said earlier this year that Binance was going through an application process. A spokesperson for the regulator told Decrypt that similar companies have had their applications rejected.
In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a consumer warning about the exchange’s UK entity, Binance Markets Limited. The FCA followed up in September saying that the firm was incapable of being regulated after it failed to provide basic information to the regulator.
Given the plethora of controversies facing the exchange, CZ changed his tune in September, admitting that Binance needed a centralized entity to satisfy regulatory requirements.
According to the Irish Independent and Reuters, Ireland may indeed become that entity—providing of course Ireland’s regulators adopt a kinder view of the exchange than that adopted by other regulators around the world.
However, based on what the exchange’s spokesperson told Decrypt today, there are other options in the pipeline.
When asked what other countries are being considered, the exchange declined to provide further information. Since August, Decrypt has also been asking Binance for information about how Binance Group is organized. We are yet to receive a response.