Capital markets News

Former OCC head Brian Brooks resigns from Binance crypto exchange

brian brooks

It’s been a little over three months since Brian Brooks started work as CEO of Binance.US, an affiliate of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, which has recently attracted regulatory scrutiny in several jurisdictions. Until January, Brooks was the head of U.S. banking regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

Brooks cited strategic differences for the departure in a Tweet, with the resignation confirmed in another Tweet from Binance

Before joining the OCC, Brooks worked at Coinbase as Chief Legal Officer. When he took on the OCC role in April 2020, he received $4.6 million for canceling his options contract. Just a year later, the stock owned by Paul Grewal, his Coinbase replacement, was worth $300 million when Coinbase was listed. Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance has stated that there are plans to list Binance.US, but it is not imminent.

“Brian’s work for Binance.US has been invaluable and we hope he will continue to be an integral part of the crypto industry’s growth, advocating for regulations that move our industry forward,” said Binance’s Zhao. He said he remained confident about the Binance.US business.

In late June, the UK’s regulator, the FCA, issued a statement that “Binance Markets Limited is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK.” It also stated that no other part of the group has UK authorization but that it appears to be offering UK customers products.

Several other regulators, including from Hong Kong, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Thailand, followed with various warnings. Hong Kong initially raised the alarm over crypto derivatives related to listed stocks which Binance stopped offering last month. On Friday, Binance said it would no longer open any derivatives accounts for Hong Kong residents with plans to give 90 days’ notice to existing account holders at some point.

According to CoinGecko, in the last 24 hours, Binance’s spot cryptocurrency volumes were $20.8 billion compared to third-ranked Coinbase at $3.9 billion. It’s even more dominant in derivatives, where it processed $73 billion in trades over the same period, compared to FTX, the second biggest player with $10 billion in volume.