Binance US hires ex-Coinbase exec to compete with Coinbase

Binance US has a new chief exec which will steer it in the right direction, hopefully, so this is an image of a man in a suit steering a ship.

Crypto exchange Binance.US has hired former top US bank regulator Brian Brooks as its new chief exec.

Brooks — who served as Coinbase’s chief legal officer before temporarily leading the Office of the Comptroller (OCC) under Trump — is often referred to as the “CryptoComptroller.”

During Brooks’ tenure at the OCC, he let banks offer crypto custody services (including Bitcoin) and process stablecoin payments.

Until then, regulatory uncertainty had left most of those services to crypto-native firms like BitGo and Coinbase — so Brooks helped pave the way for “traditional” institutions to one day tap the crypto market.

Brooks told the Wall Street Journal his Binance US priorities are to make the exchange “a robust competitor to Coinbase” and strengthen its regulatory compliance. 

Brooks will replace Catherine Coley effective May 1, according to a Binance press release.

Binance US built to keep the SEC happy

Binance launched its US arm in September 2019 to appease the nation’s regulators.

The US-only exchange offers mostly the same service as the company’s flagship platform — except it lists one third of the tokens (around 50) and doesn’t support margin trading.

“I wouldn’t have taken this job if I didn’t have a strong commitment from the board to lead a strong compliance program,” said Brooks (via WSJ).

In the meantime, a number of disgruntled Binance customers have taken the opportunity to vent their frustrations on social media.

[Read more: Coinbase is big — but can it be Amazon big?]

“Well, maybe now Binance might learn how to answer emails and take care of their consumers better,” read one tweet.

Protos has reached out to Binance for comment.

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