U.S. regulators’ crackdown on crypto has made it “very difficult” to continue operating in the U.S., and Binance Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Hillmann hopes for his company to be regulated in the U.K.
Hillmann, speaking at the Financial Times’ crypto and digital assets summit, called operating in the U.S. “very confusing over the past six months,” the publication reported Tuesday.
The U.S. is “in this weird place,” he said at the summit, noting the actions the Securities and Exchange Commission has taken against fellow exchange Coinbase.
Coinbase received a Wells notice, the precursor to an enforcement action, in March; and now Coinbase is suing the SEC to define a security and accusing the agency of threatening enforcement actions without explaining its reasoning.
Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, has been a focus for U.S. regulators in recent history during their crackdown on the broader crypto industry. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, in March for operating an “intentionally opaque” and allegedly illegal enterprise that violated the Commodity Exchange Act while engaging in “a calculated strategy of regulatory arbitrage to their commercial benefit.”
Last month, Binance.US abandoned its $1.3 billion plan to purchase the assets of bankrupt crypto firm Voyager Digital.
A Binance.US spokesperson confirmed the development and told Reuters that the “hostile and uncertain regulatory climate in the United States has introduced an unpredictable operating environment impacting the entire American business community.”
The U.K. regulatory scheme has also been a challenge for Binance. The exchange has clashed with London regulators, who said the exchange “was incapable of being regulated after it failed to provide basic information about its business activity,” according to the Financial Times.
The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority ordered Binance cease its regulated activities in Britain in 2021, and in 2022 Binance was accused of filing a “grossly inaccurate” annual report for one of its U.K.-based subsidiaries.
Hillmann declined to tell the Financial Times whether Binance had reapplied for registration under the FCA.