Changpeng Zhao, CEO of major cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has predicted that Binance will resume crypto-to-fiat operations in the United States within the next two months.
Navigating U.S. regulation
Zhao, also known as CZ within the crypto community, made his prediction in an interview with online news outlet Cheddar published Aug. 15. When asked about Binance’s return to operations in the U.S., Zhao said:
“I don’t want to promise any fixed dates, but there’s a lot of work being done and there’s a lot of things going on in flux, but I would say in a month or two.”
Back in June, Binance announced that the exchange would be temporarily restricting services in the U.S. as it worked to open a new division to operate with Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) approval, as Cointelegraph reported at the time.
U.S. regulation has been a critical issue. In today’s interview, Zhao said that the partnership with BAM Trading Services will help the firm to navigate the US’s regulatory environment, commenting that “now we have our partner, we want to take this opportunity and explore the market.”
Future of the market
In response to a question about the impact of U.S. regulatory ambiguity, Zhao said:
“I think the US is one of the most developed markets because I think it has good regulations in the traditional finance space. Crypto is a new thing, and for new things, the US is a big country and with a lot of regulatory bodies and a very large market [...] in a large market it is harder to regulate.”
Zhao ultimately expressed optimism for the future of U.S. regulation, citing the country’s clear legal framework for traditional financial services as evidence that the environment for crypto will improve.
As Cointelegraph reported on Aug. 7, the exchange fell victim to a blackmail scandal, in which an alleged hacker has been reportedly demanding a total of 300 Bitcoins (worth around $3.5 million). Otherwise, the hacker is threatening to keep releasing thousands of Know Your Customer (KYC) photos and other personal information, allegedly belonging to Binance users. However, Binance explained that there is no evidence that these KYC images have been stolen from the exchange, as they do not contain the official digital watermark.
“They all appear to be dated from February of 2018, at which time Binance had contracted a third-party vendor for KYC verification in order to handle the high volume of requests at that time,” Binance added.