Binance.US CEO Brian Brooks: Exclusion of crypto banks from the Fed system is “harmful” – CoinDesk – CoinDesk


Former acting currency auditor and current CEO of Binance.US, Brian Brooks, warned of a tightening regulatory climate in Washington that could be unfavorable for crypto newbies.

“There has never been a national trust bank that is not a member of the [Federal Reserve], and the idea that these escrow banks could somehow get disfellowshipped just because they hold crypto is not just a crazy idea, it’s a dangerous idea, ”Brooks said.

The statement comes as the Federal Reserve is soliciting comments on a proposal to give certain chartered institutions access to their primary accounts and talks about the potential politicization of the crypto economy.

While it seems that companies chartered through regulations like Wyoming’s Special Purpose Depository Institution Rules could gain access if the proposal is adopted, it’s not clear whether OCC-chartered crypto trust banks will also gain access.

Paxos, Protego, and Anchorage, the three crypto-native firms that have received conditional charters from the former Brooks-run Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), do not currently have access to the Fed’s main accounts, which means they always another bank need partners to handle some transactions.

While the Fed did not specifically state that it would exclude OCC-chartered banks, Brooks’ comments indicate that this is far from a regularized affair.

“The idea that a bank that holds art collections or rare wines can get access to the Fed, but a bank that holds private crypto keys can’t, I mean, explain to me what the reasons are, other than that Rank politics, ”said Brooks. “That’s a really bad idea if we are politicizing the banking system.”

He compared the prospect to “deplatforming” on social media.

“They don’t want any politically appointed person to say which banks will have access to the central bank and which banks will not have access to the central bank,” he said in an interview with CoinDesk’s Nikhilesh De during the 2021 consensus conference.

Four long weeks

In addition to his assessment of the current situation in Washington, Brooks reiterated the key goals for the crypto exchange, which he has only been running for four weeks.

“Those four weeks would be a year in any other job, I have to say,” he joked.

Goals include strengthening customer support and focusing on hiring people. Binance.US has scaled rapidly, but has also been ravaged by a flurry of customer complaints.

“On any given day, we’re trading between $ 3 billion and $ 4 billion in spot market transactions on a platform that didn’t exist 24 months ago and that only has 100 employees,” said Brooks, “so you can imagine what that looks like . “.”

Partly, that’s why customers are seeing a myriad of problems, Brooks admitted.

“They’re going to lose their hearts and minds quickly if people can’t get on board fast enough, or if they leave the platform or are locked out of their account for a reason they don’t understand,” said Brooks. “I would be lying if I said we don’t have a real problem in this area.”

To do this, the company has hired a new customer support director and “increased the customer support team tenfold,” said Brooks.

Technology “onshoring”

Another reason for the customer support issues is that Binance.US licenses some of its technology from Binance, which means the US subsidiary does not have full control over it.

That means code updates are sometimes sent out in the middle of the night, with Binance.US learning about them and the problems they can cause at the same time as customers, according to Brooks.

“We’re fixing that by migrating all of our technology ashore over the next few months,” he said. “One of the most important initiatives I’m working on today is to achieve complete technology independence in a short amount of time.”

White-labeled BNB?

Brooks highlighted Binance’s BNB token as an “insanely important customer loyalty tool” for the exchange – and one that could be passed on to other companies.

“Part of the early work we’ve done since joining the company is talking to art brands, record labels, major consumer e-commerce platforms, and others about how the BNB token can be taught in their businesses Brooks said.

He posed the prospect that Binance.US could “literally white-label” a mark of loyalty to an airline, consumer brand or close-knit artist community.

“[They could] Extracting value from their community and binding their world, just as we are responsible for our world with BNB, ”he said. “And we can exchange your tokens.”

The tokenization game of the big brands is an example of how the stock exchange is pursuing an “Internet model, not a financial services model”.

“Think of Google for what we want, not Bank of America,” said Brooks.

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