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Binance CEO Richard Teng Can’t Say Where Company HQ Is Based, Fails To Answer Other Basic Questions In First Rocky Interview Since Replacing Changpeng Zhao

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Binance Remains Financially Strong, No Parallels to FTX, Says Regional Head, Richard Teng
Binance Remains Financially Strong, No Parallels to FTX, Says Regional Head, Richard Teng

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New Binance CEO Richard Teng couldn’t say where the world’s biggest crypto exchange is based and avoided answering questions about its staff count and whether it would be audited in his first interview since succeeding co-founder Changpeng Zhao. 

Speaking in a video interview with the Financial Times at a crypto conference in London, Teng said the crypto exchange had made mistakes in the past, acknowledged that its compliance had been inadequate relative to its size, and said that in the future it aims to be a “user-led” and “compliance-led” platform. 

Teng took over from Zhao last month after the company’s co-founder stepped down as part of a $4.3 billion settlement with US prosecutors after it pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering and sanctions violations. Zhao agreed to plead guilty to a money laundering charge and to pay a $50 million fine.Binance gets new CEO after Changpeng Zhao steps down: Who is Richard Teng? | Mint

HQ Location ”Under Consideration”

During the FT interview, digital assets correspondent Scott Chipolina grew impatient with Teng as the new CEO deflected basic questions with incomplete or vague answers.

“I’ve asked you where Binance’s global headquarters is, I’ve asked you whether Binance is going to undergo an audit, how many employees the company currently has on its books and whether you’re applying for a license in the UK, which is what Binance told us during our last FT crypto conference,” Chipolina said. “You haven’t answered those questions.”

Teng, who held senior positions at Binance prior to take its helm, replied that he had “answered each and every one of those questions.”

“Can you tell me where Binance’s headquarters are?” he was asked again.

“It is under consideration,” he replied. 

The awkward exchange continued when the CEO was asked whether or not Binance will undergo an audit soon.

Teng responded that the company was “not obligated to disclose those facts” because Binance is a private company and is not raising any funds publicly.

“We have been undergoing audits in all the regulated jurisdictions that we are in,” he said, but failed to disclose the name of a single specific auditor.

When Teng was given one more opportunity to answer a questions regarding Binance’s governance at the end of the interview, he bluntly replied by asking the interviewer why he felt “so entitled to those answers.”

When Chipolina said that Binance “is the biggest crypto exchange” and that it’s important that users know the answers, Teng replied that “we are accountable to our users and users knowing that we are totally accountable to them.”

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