In order to gain legitimacy in the United States, Binance.com, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is seeking to conduct an initial public offering of its US division. However, for a company that relies on secrecy, as is often the case for cryptocurrency firms, things could be slow and erratic.
This month, Brian Brooks, CEO of Binance.US, left the company just three months after taking office, citing “strategic differences.” Changpeng Zhao, the Chinese-Canadian billionaire who owns Binance.com, had hired Brooks, a former regulator, to help the company gain support in the United States. Brooks left after a venture capital investment he was managing for Binance.US collapsed. The deal would have been the first step to a possible IPO, but some investors objected to the amount of control Zhao was going to exercise over Binance.US.
Companies that transact in digital currencies are trying to grow. Many cryptocurrency firms, whose founders are usually lone programmers who go with their laptops around the world, are restructuring to become more traditional entities with boards of directors and audited financial reports. Some are gearing up for a larger presence in the United States, a lucrative market where hordes of customers are already flocking to their platforms, just as suspicious authorities have begun to pay close attention to them.
In a recent speech, Gary Gensler, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), referred to this area as “the Wild West.”
“This asset class is plagued by fraud, scams and abuse in certain applications,” he said. “There is an excess of publicity and propaganda about how crypto assets work. In many cases, investors cannot obtain accurate, balanced or complete information ”.
This spring’s initial public offering by Coinbase, a San Francisco-based crypto exchange that allows its clients to trade digital currencies for real currencies and vice versa, has given rivals a scheme, as well as a glimpse of the money that can be made. to win. This month, Coinbase reported a profit of $ 1.6 billion in its second quarter as a public company.
“Fundraising and engaging potential investors is an essential part of Binance.US’s long-term strategy,” Hazel Watts, a Binance spokeswoman, said in an email.
Watts said the company planned to dilute its ownership significantly by bringing in more outside shareholders.
“The original plan was just to dilute a small portion,” he noted.