Binance.US chief executive officer Brian Shroder has left the crypto trading platform and been replaced on an interim basis by chief legal officer Norman Reed, according to a company spokesperson.
The departure comes as the company controlled by embattled digital entrepreneur Changpeng “CZ” Zhao is eliminating about one third of its workforce, or more than 100 positions, as a regulatory crackdown erodes its business. The exchange, which is formally called BAM Trading Services, was started in 2019 for US users, who are prohibited from using Binance Holdings.
It is the second round of job cuts this year at the Miami-based firm as it faces a series of mounting legal and operational challenges. In June, the US Securities and Exchange Commission accused Binance Holdings, Zhao and Binance.US with mishandling customer funds, misleading investors and regulators, and breaking securities rules. Zhao and the companies have denied the allegations.
In March, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission charged Binance and Zhao with “wilful evasion of federal law.” The Justice Department is probing Binance as well; it has not accused the company of any wrongdoing.
Soon after the SEC action, customers of Binance.US became unable to deposit or withdraw dollars, a consequence of multiple banking partners cutting ties with the platform. The company has had to resort to an alternative method for Binance.US’s users to convert dollars into crypto.
Binance.US’s share of the global market has shrunken to about 0.6 per cent from around 2.39 per cent in April, according to Jacob Joseph, an analyst at researcher CCData. Monthly trading volume has fallen below early 2020 levels, he said.
“The actions we are taking today provide Binance.US with more than seven years of financial runway and enable us to continue to serve our customers while we operate as a crypto-only exchange,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “The SEC’s aggressive attempts to cripple our industry and the resulting impacts on our business have real world consequences for American jobs and innovation, and this is an unfortunate example of that.”
Binance.US laid off an unspecified number of workers after the SEC action, Bloomberg reported in June.
Binance Holdings has been shedding executives and other employees in recent months as well. This month, two executives overseeing regions including Eastern Europe and Russia left. In August, Binance lost its Asia-Pacific’s head and in July, a slew of executives including its chief strategy officer.
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