Binance, the largest cryptocurrency trading platform in the world, has hired a former IRS criminal investigator, Greg Monahan, to oversee investigations into money laundering, according to an announcement from the company early Wednesday. Monahan’s official title at Binance will be Global Money Laundering Reporting Officer.
Binance has come under increased pressure from financial regulators around the world in recent months, as many countries accuse the crypto company of operating in their jurisdictions illegally. Binance has no headquarters but is technically registered in the Cayman Islands and has allegedly facilitated global money laundering with crypto like bitcoin.
“Binance has a strong culture of putting their users first, from providing market-leading products to supporting high-profile investigations that help make the crypto industry a safer place,” Monahan said in a statement published on the company’s website.
“My efforts will be focused on expanding Binance’s international anti-money laundering (AML) and investigation programs, as well as strengthening the organisation’s relations with regulatory and law enforcement bodies worldwide,” Monahan continued.
While Monahan no doubt believes Binance puts its customers first, there are plenty of complaints to the contrary. In fact, Gizmodo obtained a number of consumer complaints submitted to the Federal Trade Commission about Binance through the Freedom of Information Act. One of the most common was that people could put money in, but simply couldn’t get their money out.
Binance was issued a warning in Japan this past June that it was operating in the country illegally. And the company received similar warnings in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and Malaysia, among a host of others, in July. Binance was also banned in the U.S. but operates under the brand name Binance U.S., which is supposedly financially independent from Binance.
The controversial CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, who also goes by the name CZ, hailed the new hire as a great move for his company.
“We have always held Binance to the highest standard to safeguard our users’ interests, and to that end we are always expanding our capabilities to make Binance and the wider industry a safe place for all participants,” CZ said.
“As a former US Federal Law Enforcement Investigator, Greg Monahan brings a wealth of AML and investigations experience to Binance. We’re thrilled to welcome him to our team as GMLRO and we look forward to his contributions.”
The length of Monahan’s tenure will likely be a good barometer for Binance’s viability as a legitimate business around the world. Can Monahan convince regulators that he’s effectively policing money laundering on the world’s largest cryptocurrency platform? That remains to be seen. But Binance is certainly going to give it a shot.
The alternative, it would seem, is getting banned in virtually every country in the world.