Binance’s Head of Global Sanctions, Chagri Poyraz, recently defended the company’s efforts to combat illegal activities and improve compliance in a recent interview. Poyraz stated that Binance had increased its number of full-time compliance personnel by 650% in the last two years, with the current staff counts standing at around 750, up from 100 in 2021.
The exchange has recently faced regulatory scrutiny and public criticism due to its perceived lack of headquarters and alleged involvement in harboring illicit funds. Binance was previously penalized by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), filing a suit against the company and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, for allegedly conducting business in the US without permission and helping terrorists and money launderers move funds.
Poyraz, who joined Binance in early 2022, argues that the company is working hard to address compliance issues and change its public image. Binance has hired new staff to identify and eliminate terrorists and criminals and strengthen the company’s know-your-customer (KYC) controls. Poyraz emphasized that Binance follows all UN, EU, and US sanctions, despite not operating in the US.
Furthermore, Pyraz added that the firm has increased its investment in technology to detect illicit access to the exchange, including users based in sanctioned countries or those attempting to use the global platform instead of the regulated US entity. Tigran Gambaryan, the company’s Head of Financial Crime Compliance, added that while most financial institutions are usually “reactive”, at Binance he has witnessed the opposite.
Gambaryan highlighted Binance’s proactive measures, such as offboarding Russia’s largest exchange, Garantex even before it was sanctioned by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). He added that his core responsibility at Binance is to track down large entities that are looking to employ the platform for illicit activities.
Despite these efforts, Poyraz expressed frustration with the US’s lack of clear regulation and guidance regarding cryptocurrency. He believes Binance has made significant progress since he joined the company, and he would appreciate more acknowledgment from regulators for their ongoing efforts.