Binance poaches Kraken compliance boss as crypto readies for regulation

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by spot-trading volume, has snatched up the former chief compliance officer from rival Kraken, as the industry continues to ramp up its compliance efforts.

Steven Christie, who oversaw global compliance at Kraken for more than four years, joined Binance as its senior vice president of compliance in May, a Binance spokeswoman said 22 September.

Christie leads Binance’s global compliance team of more than 750 people, including its cyber investigations team, the spokeswoman said. Christie has worked in the crypto industry since 2015, previously serving as the compliance chief at bitcoin custodian Xapo Bank, according to a biography from a 2019 blockchain event in which he participated.

READ Crypto firms lawyer up as regulatory clouds gather

San Francisco-based Kraken said 21 September that it expects to hire a new chief compliance officer in the next few weeks. The company also said co-founder Jesse Powell plans to step down from his role as chief executive but will remain chairman.

Kraken said Dave Ripley, its current chief operating officer, will succeed Powell after the company completes a search for a new COO. Kraken is the fourth-largest crypto exchange by spot-trading volume, according to cryptoassets price-tracking website CoinMarketCap.

The management shake-up is the latest for Kraken as it faces increasing regulatory scrutiny. A New York Times report in July said the exchange is under federal investigation as it is suspected of violating US sanctions by allegedly allowing users in Iran and elsewhere to buy and sell digital tokens.

Representatives for Kraken didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The demand for compliance and legal talent in the crypto industry has continued in recent months, despite tumbling crypto prices and layoffs, as the industry faces increased regulatory pressure.

Write to Mengqi Sun at

This article was published by Dow Jones Newswires, a fellow Dow Jones Group service

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