Binance US, the American subsidiary of the well-known cryptocurrency exchange, is experiencing a series of high-profile departures.
Today, Sidney Majalya, the Chief Risk Officer, and Krishna Juvvadi, the head of legal, resigned according to a report by Wall Street Journal. Their exits followed the recent resignation of Brian Shroder, the firm’s President and CEO.
These departures add weight to speculations about a potential ripple effect of high-level exits at the firm.
The SEC’s Role in Recent Binance US Staff Exits
Both departures come amid increasing scrutiny from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC filed a lawsuit against Binance US and its CEO earlier this year, accusing the company of running an unauthorized trading platform in the United States.
Juvvadi was one of the main liaisons between Binance US and the SEC and joined the company in May 2022. Majalya took on the role of CRO in December 2021.
Binance US commented on the departures, stating, “The SEC’s aggressive attempts to cripple our industry and the resulting impacts on our business have real-world consequences for American jobs and innovation, and this is an unfortunate example of that.
As of the time this article was published, neither Juvvadi nor Majalya have made public statements about their reasons for leaving Binance US.
Mounting Regulatory Hurdles for Binance
Binance and its U.S. subsidiary, along with co-founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, are facing legal action from regulatory bodies such as the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The allegations range from operating without proper authorization to offering unregistered securities and violating commodities laws. Due to these challenges, Binance US temporarily halted all dollar withdrawals and deposits on June 9.
Internationally, Binance is also under increased scrutiny. In July, The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) inspected Binance’s Australian offices, focusing on its now-shut-down local derivatives operations.
This follows the revocation of Binance Australia’s derivatives license in April. In May, Binance suspended PayID AUD deposits due to issues with a third-party payment provider. Regulatory bodies in Europe, such as Belgium’s FSMA and Germany’s Bafin, have also added to the company’s challenges. In June, FSMA ordered Binance to cease all offers of virtual currency services in Belgium, while Bafin Bafin rejected Binance’s cryptocurrency custody license application in July.
Binance US Market Share Takes a Hit
Binance is currently the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world with a daily trading volume of close to $4.6 billion. For context, the second-largest exchange, Coinbase, reported a daily volume of $890 million.
However, Binance US has seen its market share plummet, particularly in the United States. Data from Reuters shows that its U.S. market share dropped from over 22% in April to just around 0.9% as of June 26. This is further underscored by a global market share drop from 2.39% to just 0.6%.
The unfolding events at Binance US, marked by leadership exits and escalating regulatory scrutiny, place the company at a pivotal crossroads. Whether Binance US can adapt to the evolving regulatory landscape and regain its lost market share will be a significant indicator of its future viability.
As it stands, the challenges are stacking up on multiple fronts, both domestically and internationally. It’s a situation that undoubtedly has stakeholders watching closely.