Today Binance.US announced that former Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks would become CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange effective May 1. While at the OCC, Brooks issued interpretive letters that allowed banks to custody digital assets, hold stablecoin reserves and participate in stablecoin networks. He departed the OCC on January 14.
Before Binance.US, Brooks was Chief Legal Officer at cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase for 19 months. Brooks’ stint at the OCC was personally very expensive given Coinbase’s recent stock market listing. As a federal officer, Brooks had to sell any sensitive assets. Meanwhile, his successor at Coinbase, Paul Grewal, was worth $300 million on the day that Coinbase listed. When Brooks departed Coinbase he received $4.6 million for canceling his options agreement. That’s a nice chunk of money, but compared to Grewal’s figure, that’s a big ouch!
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“I am thrilled to be joining Binance.US at this pivotal time for the digital assets industry,” Mr. Brooks said. “We are at the cusp of mainstream adoption of blockchain technology and digital tokens by individuals, institutions, and governments alike.”
He continued, “I look forward to working with Binance.US’s talented team to promote its culture of compliance and continue to grow its product and service offerings across markets. I am eager to work closely with industry participants and policymakers to develop an enduring regulatory framework that enables Americans to reap the benefits of decentralized finance for generations to come.”
The parent of the U.S. firm, Binance, is the largest cryptocurrency exchange globally but has had its fair share of controversy, including a recent CFTC probe. It was started in Shanghai China, and is currently headquartered in the Cayman Islands.
Binance.US claims to have daily trading volumes of $1.4 billion, a small fraction of the $48 billion claimed by the group on the CoinMarketCap website that it owns.