French financial sector regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) has announced that crypto exchange Binance needs to intensify its efforts to ensure anti-money laundering compliance if it wants the agency’s backing for its plans to launch a regional registered office in the country’s capital.
The latest development comes shortly after Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, announced that Paris would be a “natural choice” for the exchange’s regional, and potentially even global headquarters, Reuters reports.
In a November interview with French business daily Les Echos, Zhao said that in 2022, Binance hopes to secure the status of a digital asset services provider in France. He also assured that his company was focused on strengthening its compliance-oriented capacities.
“Out of more than 3,500 Binance employees, 600 (more than 15%) are responsible for compliance and relations with various regulators, and we hired 150 [such employees] in 2021,” the CEO said.
Asked about the company’s plans for its presence in Europe, Zhao said that his business is in the process of “establishing registered offices at several levels: local, regional and global.”
“Our priority is to obtain local authorizations to set up crypto exchanges,” according to the executive. “As soon as it is possible, France will be a natural choice for a regional registered office, and maybe even a global one.”
Regarding the company’s relations with the French regulator, Zhao said the AMF has demonstrated to be “very pro-business, but at the same time very demanding.”
Binance hoped to secure the AMF’s regulatory approval within a period of six to 12 months, according to the CEO.
Meanwhile, Spain’s regulator National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) has reprimanded Spanish footballer and current Vissel Kobe midfielder Andrés Iniesta after the athlete promoted Binance’s services on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, as reported by Reuters. Iniesta’s post on Instagram, where the former FC Barcelona footballer enjoys a following of more than 38m, shows him using Binance’s website and mobile app.