January 26, 2022

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French Regulators: Binance Has to Improve AML Compliance Before Setting Up HQ in Paris (Report)

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The French financial regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) has reportedly announced that the cryptocurrency exchange – Binance – must guarantee anti-money laundering compliance to set up a regional hub in Paris. 

Earlier this month, Changpeng Zhao – CEO of the trading venue – described the French capital as a “natural choice” for positioning headquarters.

Binance Is Not Ready to Settle in France

The largest digital asset exchange – Binance – has been on a mission to find its new home lately. Established as a decentralized platform with “no headquarters and no borders,” it is now changing its structure and looking for a place to settle, as the CEO recently explained. However, the company has some issues with global regulators, which could turn out to be a hurdle in its way.

Currently, France sounds like one of the suitable options where Binance can establish global headquarters since the company has not had any problems with the local watchdogs. Moreover, Changpeng Zhao recently called Paris a “natural choice” for such expansion.

According to a Reuters report, though, settling under the Eiffel Tower would not be such a straightforward move since the local watchdogs insist that Binance has to enhance its AML compliance efforts.

“It’s a sign of the Paris market’s innovative dynamism, but this obviously depends on trust and credibility being guaranteed. That’s what will guide the ACPR and the AMF (financial markets authority) in their actions, especially on the key issue of anti-money laundering,” said Francois Villeroy de Galhau – the Governor of the French central bank.

A few days ago, Zhao told the local press that his company hoped to get a regulatory green light from the AMF in 6 to 12 months. He added that 600 out of 3,500 Binance’s employees are responsible for compliance and relationships with various regulators.

The Partnership with France Fintech

At the beginning of November, the leading cryptocurrency exchange and the non-profit association – France FinTech – joined forces to create a €100 million ($116 million) blockchain project in Europe. It comes by the name of “Objective Moon,” as its primary goal is to support the development of the digital asset industry in France and the rest of Europe.

Back then, Zhao predicted the move could turn France into a top spot in the cryptocurrency space:

“At Binance, we recognize the quality of French and European tech, crypto, and blockchain talent, and we are convinced that with the launch of Binance’s major operations and investment in France, we can significantly contribute toward making France and Europe the leading global player in blockchain and crypto industry.”

How About Ireland?

Ireland is another country that could become the new home of Binance. Earlier this year, the trading venue set up three companies there: Binance (APAC) Holdings, Binance (Services) Holdings, and Binance Technologies.

A few days ago, it established a fourth one, named Binance Exchange (Ie), hinting about a future settlement in the country. Asked whether Ireland falls into such plans, Zhao answered: “Yes, it does.”

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