Compliance has been a pain to the crypto community, and Binance has sought to address that through a 6 part video series. The crypto exchange’s move is befitting considering the fact that it has been under the toughest compliance scrutiny in the crypto world. Of the 6 videos, today marked the fourth. With two more to go, here is what Binance experts had to say.
Binance takes on the biggest misconceptions about crypto – Part 1
The crypto industry is quickly maturing, so understandably, there are still misconceptions about the underlying technology. In the first of six videos, Binance experts addressed some of the most common misconceptions about the exchange and the crypto industry.
Here, Matt Price, Global Head of Intelligence & Investigations at Binance, points out that one of the most pervasive misconceptions about crypto is that they are anonymous, which enables illegal activity. The actuality is quite the opposite. The fact that transactions are recorded publicly and perpetually enables investigators. In contrast to traditional financial investigations, the transparent nature of crypto facilitates the identification of evil actors.
Moving on, Richard Teng, Binance’s Regional Head of Europe and MENA, correctly notes that traditional media coverage of crypto and the blockchain industry has been quite negative, creating the impression that it is rife with illicit money. However, in the traditional fiat space, between $800 billion and $2 trillion are laundered annually. Compared to crypto, the quantity is a negligible 0.03% of that.
Steve Christie, Senior VP of Compliance at Binance, debunks the myths that criminals use crypto and that it has no intrinsic value. In the video, he also argues that the criminal aspects of crypto are grossly exaggerated and that the vast majority of industry activity consists of real investments and use cases that have the potential to transform the global economy.
In the video, Binance’s Head of Financial Crimes Compliance, Tigran Gambaryan, emphasizes that crypto is arguably the worst method to launder money. In contrast, crypto provides unprecedented transactional transparency and enables law enforcement to operate more efficiently. Before Binance, Tigran worked in law enforcement; he now works in the crypto industry, bringing a unique perspective to the video above.
Part 2 – How Binance invests in compliance
Investing in human resources and compliance teams is one of the major focuses of the second video up top. Moreover, it is also crucial that compliance team members have access to the most advanced tools and technology. When asked how their compliance teams have grown over the years and where the focus of their investments has been, these are their responses.
Matt Price describes how he has expanded this team to more than 20 investigators worldwide. Most of Matt’s team has a background in law enforcement and covers all main markets. Matt’s team has adopted new forensic investigative tools, such as Chainalysis, and additional licenses with TRM Labs. They continuously search for the most advanced tools to conduct these investigations.
The second video also features Chagri Poyraz, the global head of sanctions. Chagri notes that his staff has nearly 40 members. In addition to supporting the sanctions program and other financial compliance programs, his team performs various essential functions. The customer service department has close to 2,000 members and is also crucial. This team triages and escalates all incoming issues to the appropriate team.
Tigran Gambaryan also emphasized the growth of his team since he began working here. Tigran’s team began with fewer than 10 members, and the leadership team tasked him to expand it to more than 20 members with the assistance of CZ. This gave Tigran access to the resources he required to ensure that the special investigations team had team directors dispersed across the globe.
Part 3 – The in-depth of what the Binance Compliance and Investigations Team does
In the third of six blog posts, the Binance team highlights compliance and investigations. The crypto exchange requires some of the world’s finest compliance and investigations experts to ensure that Binance can serve consumers worldwide and realize its mission to increase the freedom of money. And that is precisely what Binance has done; they have built a team that has grown over time.
Matt Price says his staff protects customers, users, and the crypto industry. Binance proactively investigates bad crypto actors to reduce risks. His team collaborates with law enforcement and regulatory authorities worldwide to share criminal intelligence. Finally, the Investigations team teaches people worldwide how to use tools, trace cryptocurrency transactions, and more.
Chagri Poyraz describes how his team creates internal controls and compliance tools without disrupting Binance consumers’ experience. Chagri’s staff is directly linked to customer care to help customers understand Binance’s sanctions program. Every Binance product and development must comply globally. His team builds the proper compliance controls while designing the product rather than repairing it later when regulatory pressures arise.
Richard Teng notes that governments need the Web3 crypto economy to strengthen their economies. That’s why Binance seeks government collaboration to develop Web3 and the crypto ecosystem while considering talent support. Richard then notes that Binance works closely with regulators to understand and comply with rules and regulations to provide the best goods.
Tigran Gambaryan says his department’s work affects people’s lives, and the law enforcement staff handles international requests. Tigran claims his team handled over 50,000 law enforcement demands in 2022, crucial work that affects people worldwide.
Part 4 – Binance dives into the challenges the compliance team faces
In part 4 of 6, the most recent video, Binance experts highlight the challenges the Compliance team faces. Matt Price says the biggest challenge is that this environment is continually changing. Matt’s team must work hard to stay up with crypto’s rapid evolution and the innovative methods utilized by those who exploit it. Matt’s team collaborates with blockchain experts and developers at Binance, which is amazing.
Binance Compliance Officer Steve Christie says the largest problem is the ever-changing laws and regulations and their interpretations by authorities globally. Bitcoin and crypto are distributed, permissionless technologies that regulators, legislators, and government officials must manage. Consistency is lacking, creating an unequal playing field.
Tigran says he enjoys his work and has an incredible team, but the work is undoubtedly demanding. Tigran is driven and motivated by the fact that his team’s efforts have a tangible impact on the real world. Occasionally, he remarks, it can be difficult to maintain equilibrium. Tigran mentions, however, that he is aware that his team’s efforts have a significant impact, just as he did when he worked in law enforcement. This is what sustains Tigran.
However, one of the obstacles he confronts is regulatory clarity. According to Tigran, this has been and will continue to be a problem. There is a lack of uniformity between different jurisdictions and agencies, sometimes even within the same jurisdiction and agencies. For people like Tigran to perform their essential duties more efficiently, there must be greater regulatory clarity.