Popular crypto exchange Binance is increasing its presence in Ireland amid lingering questions about where they are actually located. Indeed, Binance has been criticized for its lack of a central headquarters.
Multiple companies incorporated in Irish jurisdiction
Last month, the Irish Independent reported that the exchange has registered three companies in the jurisdiction. Those companies were Binance (APAC) Holdings, Binance (Services) Holdings, and Binance Technologies. Formally, everything was founded 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 popular crypto exchange’s plans to establish a headquarters in a particular jurisdiction. CZ told Reuters the following:
“When we first started, we wanted to embrace decentralized principles, not headquarters or work around the world. No limits. It is now very clear to run a centralized exchange, you need a centralized, legal entity structure behind it.”
That centralized legal structure could eventually make landfall in Ireland. According to a Binance spokesperson, the exchange is also looking elsewhere. A spokesperson said the following:
“We are keeping all our options open and we are currently considering multiple places to meet user needs, legal requirements and of course a place that fits our needs as a business. Should any of these options become solid, we will provide updates as needed.”
Regulators are targeting Binance
What we do know for sure is that Binance has endured controversy after regulatory controversy throughout the year. In the Netherlands and Japan, regulators of both jurisdictions have issued consumer warnings about the crypto exchange. In the Cayman Islands and in 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 also lives, the regulator said earlier this year that Binance was going through an application process. A spokesman for the regulator said similar companies that had previously submitted their applications have been rejected. However, it is not yet certain whether this will also happen for Binance.
In the United Kingdom (UK), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a consumer warning against the exchange’s UK entity, Binance Markets Limited. The FCA followed suit in September, saying the company was unable to be regulated after it failed to provide basic information to the regulator.
Given the plethora of controversies facing the exchange, Zhao changed his mind in September, admitting that Binance needed a centralized entity to meet regulatory requirements.
Indeed, according to the Irish Independent and Reuters, Ireland could become that entity, provided, of course, Irish regulators take a friendlier stance towards the exchange than that adopted by other regulators around the world. However, based on what the exchange’s spokesperson said, there are a few other options in the pipeline. When asked which other countries are being considered, the exchange declined to provide further information.