Who Owns Binance
Changpeng Zhao's high-profile departure as CEO of Binance not only came as a shock to the entire crypto community, but also instantly generated a wave of questions about who would become the new boss of the largest cryptocurrency exchange.
Zhao says “Ciao”
Changpeng Zhao is the founder and now former CEO of the largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. The history of the exchange began back in 2005. Not yet well known, Zhao created Fusion Systems as a provider of high-frequency trading system for exchange brokers. The Binance we know emerged as early as 2017. The right timing of the emergence, the company's constant growth and numerous partnerships have made the exchange one of the largest, most robust and trusted ones on the market. And Zhao has become one of the richest people in the world. Neither market turmoil nor regulatory clampdowns have been able to change Binance's status. Even now, when the SEC is actively battling the company, it seems that the exchange retains its right to be a leader.
Why did Zhao leave his position as CEO of Binance? To find out, you have to rewind history back to November 2022, or maybe even earlier. The industry takeoff in 2021 was a blinding light for market participants. The subsequent all-too-famous FTX collapse was a result or even a consequence of the crypto industry's blind trust, and brought the entire sector's problems to the attention of regulators. Not all major players turned out to be law-abiding. Yet Binance under Zhao's leadership continued to inspire confidence, shrouding itself in a halo of virtue. The exchange began introducing new policies, tightening AML and KYC rules, cooperating with authorities in hacking and theft cases, and relentlessly buckling under the laws of the jurisdictions it started operating in.
However, the SEC has found something to latch onto. The regulator's nimble hand pulled the strings of Binance's past activities. A court case led to the shocking details of AML non-compliance that led Binance to so quickly take off and dominate the market. As a result, Changpeng Zhao was forced out of his post, to which he dedicated an entire thread on X. In the pursuit of quick gains and Binance's current market position, the company did not always follow the path of integrity. After apologizing to the community, Zhao said goodbye to Binance and the entire crypto world. As Changpeng Zhao prepares for his trial, he has decided to follow the path of the Wolf of Wall Street, opting for personal therapy in the form of courses under his guidance on what not to do.
The company's reputation seemed to be tarnished. However, Binance quickly found Zhao's replacement, who was Richard Teng. The new CEO promised to restore the company's reputation.
Who is Richard Teng
Prior to assuming the role of CEO of Binance, Teng held this position at the company's Singapore division. Richard Teng has a first class bachelor's degree in accounting and a master's degree in applied finance. Teng has thirty years of experience in finance regulation. Prior to joining Binance, Teng was an Executive Director at the Abu Dhabi Global Market's Abu Dhabi Financial Services Regulatory Authority (ADGM) for six years. Before that, he spent 13 years as Head of Regulatory Affairs at the Singapore Exchange and Director of Corporate Finance at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Teng led Binance Singapore in 2021 and was promoted to head of regional markets in May last year, overseeing operations in all markets outside the US, including the Middle East, North Africa and European regions. Although Teng is now the CEO of Binance, he is also an international board member of the Global Fintech Institute and an advisory board member of the Blockchain Association Singapore. Teng's long-term experience in financial regulation and good reputation have made him a highly qualified leader, as Zhao agreed. Teng's colleagues also speak favorably of him, calling him a strong, yet caring and empathic leader. Former top managers of Binance are confident that Teng's arrival is the best scenario for the company's further development.
Still, it's too early for us as a crypto community to judge the success of Binance under the new leadership, because as you know, our actions define us.