The former US Treasury Criminal Investigator, Greg Monahan has joined the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance to oversee the company's global money laundering operations.
Although Binance is the largest crypto exchange in the world with a monthly trading volume of $1 trillion at the start of the year, it may soon cease to be one of the industry's heavyweights. Binance has been embroiled in legal troubles from around the world. The Dutch central bank, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), is the latest financial regulator to inflict pain on Binance. The bank has come out and stated that Binance is operating in the Netherlands without proper legal approvals and could be shut down shortly.
In April, Binance received a warning from German regulators over its equity tokens, while the Canadian state of Ontario expelled the company from its jurisdiction for similar reasons.
After Binance fled China in 2018, it thought it had found a haven in Japan, but was shocked when the Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA) accused it of doing unlawful business in Japan. Binance then moved to the UK, where it still had to contend with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which quickly expelled it from the UK while the company was dragged into court by the victims of the recent $2.6 million hack.
In the US, the company is currently being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for its legal compliance, although it has not yet been accused of any wrongdoing. Binance is constantly receiving warning letters, being kicked out of the market or facing one action or another.
Greg Monahan, a former United States criminal investigator who spent nearly 30 years in the US Treasury Department's Anti-Money Laundering (AML) division, has replaced Karen Leong as Binance's global money laundering reporting officer. Greg Monahan was previously a senior executive at Deloitte and has experience in tax and financial crime investigations. Greg is not the only new hire with previous government experience. Former US Senator Max Baucus is now a government relations consultant for the company. In the announcement posted on Binance's website, the company kicked off the excessive expansion and improvement of its international compliance unit.
Although Binance had high hopes of ending global scrutiny and crackdowns with the addition of Greg to the team, that assumption from Binance is not yet in sight. When Gary Gensler, a renowned cryptocurrency and blockchain expert, was appointed as the chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), news raised the hopes of investors in the industry. After only a few months in office, Gensler set about drafting legislation that appeared potentially unworkable. Even then, former government officials may not have much power to influence government policy. In the US, for example, the infrastructure bill amendment did not pass the Senate, even after tireless campaigning by pro-crypto congressmen and congresswomen, according to CoinIdol, a world blockchain news outlet.
Regulators around the world have different expectations for crypto exchanges. Governments can still shut down cryptocurrency exchanges regardless of the profiles of the company's employees. Binance continues to be scrutinised by governments around the world, while other compliant exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken continue to rise. In order for Binance to fare well with regulators, the company should become more compliant with legal and tax laws around the world, not just expand its teams.