Aug 6, 2021 - Economy

Former OCC chief suddenly departs as U.S. head of crypto exchange Binance

Illustration of a crumpled dollar bill with binary code over it

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Brian Brooks, a former acting Comptroller of the Currency, has left his role as CEO of the U.S. branch of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, citing "differences over strategic direction."

Why it matters: Brooks' hiring — just three months ago — was seen as an attempt to lean on his experience in government to repair Binance's regulatory standing in the U.S.

Between the lines: Binance is massive—there's more than $92 billion in trades per day on the exchange.

  • But it's also what Axios' Felix Salmon has dubbed "the world's largest regulatory arbitrage," operating around the world, without a single main regulator, and successfully managing to exist in a kind of regulatory limbo.
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