Binance Looks to Settle on Ireland as Global Headquarters

Binance has registered a new corporate entity, Binance Exchange (Ie), and seems to have abandoned plans to set up headquarters in Singapore.

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key takeaways

  • Binance has registered a fourth entity in Ireland, according to a corporate filing spotted by The Independent
  • For some time it looked as if Binance would call Singapore home base, but relations have soured between the company and the Monetary Authority of Singapore

It looks as if Ireland will be the new home for Binance. The exchange, which until recently was famously decentralized, has registered a new entity in Ireland — first spotted by The Independent

Binance Exchange (Ie), the new entity, is believed to be poised to serve as the corporate “mothership” and not a technology licensing holding company or a regional subsidiary. 

In an interview with Retuers in October, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that the company was considering Ireland as a headquarters, along with France, according to an interview with French newspaper Les Echos, and another unnamed European city. 

“When we first started we wanted to embrace the decentralized principles, no headquarters, work all around the world, no borders,” he said to Reuters. “It’s very clear now, to run a centralized exchange, you need a centralized, legal entity structure behind it.”

Why not Singapore?

As Binance began its existence in Asia, it was thought that it would try to maintain its headquarters there. Given Singapore’s crypto-friendly nature, the city-state would be a logical choice to host the exchange’s headquarters. In August, it announced that it had hired Singapore Exchange executive Richard Teng as CEO of Binance Asia Services Pte, a company it registered in Singapore in 2018.

“Singapore is widely considered to be the blue-chip destination for financial and regulatory security and oversight,” Michael Conn, CEO of Singapore-based Zilliqa Capital, told Blockworks in an earlier interview. “Setting up their business in Singapore will make it much easier for Binance to pursue a traditional equity raise, since Singapore is not seen as a tax haven or a place for shady dealings.” 

However, Binance poisoned the well in early September by running afoul of the Monetary Authority of Singapore which alleged the exchange — a different entity entirely from its Binance.sg subsidiary —  was in violation of the Payment Services Act for carrying on the business of providing payment services to, and soliciting such business from Singapore residents without an appropriate license.

First a headquarters, then a sovereign wealth fund

Zhao’s vision for Binance includes an IPO and investment from the world’s largest institutional investors. But for that to happen, there needs to be a headquarters, which is something he’s also admitted. 

In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Zhao has said Binance is in talks with sovereign wealth funds about investment in the exchange. 

Speaking with the paper, Zhao said that investment from these funds would improve the exchange’s “perception and relationships” with various regulators around the world.

“But it may also tie us to specific countries…which we want to be slightly careful with,” he also said. 
Binance’s BNB token appears to be unaffected by the news and, at time of publication, is up 0.2% on the day according to CoinGecko.

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