Binance Appoints SVP of Compliance Formerly From Crypto Rival Kraken

Steven Christie managed global compliance at Kraken for four years.
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Quick take:

  • Christie joined Binance in May.
  • He leads Binance’s global compliance team of 750 people.
  • Christie has been in the crypto industry since 2015.

Binance has poached Kraken’s former chief compliance officer Steven Christie as it aims to manage complex compliance issues the crypto industry faces, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Prior to joining Binance, Christie oversaw global compliance at Kraken for four years. A Binance spokeswoman told WSJ that Christie joined Binance as its SVP of compliance in May. 

In his new role, Christie leads Binance’s global compliance team of 750 people including its cybersecurity team, the Binance spokeswoman added. Christie has been in the crypto industry since 2015. A biography from a 2019 blockchain event in which Christie participated stated that he was previously the compliance chief at Bitcoin custodian Xapo Bank.

This news comes after Binance announced a new Global Advisory Board on Thursday which will advise Binance on complex regulatory, political, and social issues the entire crypto industry faces. 

Binance is tapping on the board’s expertise to manage sensitive regulatory and compliance issues facing crypto, blockchain, and Web3 and ensuring a collaborative relationship with the world’s regulators as they develop regulations worldwide.

Binance rival Kraken said on Wednesday that the company plans to hire a new chief compliance officer in the coming weeks and that co-founder Jesse Powell plans to step down from his role as CEO but will become chairman of the board of directors. Kraken’s COO Dave Ripley will step into the role of CEO after Kraken hires a new COO.

“Dave’s proven leadership and experience give me great confidence that he’s the ideal successor and the best person to lead Kraken through its next era of growth,” said Powell. “I look forward to spending more of my time on the company’s products, user experience and broader industry advocacy.”

Ripley served as Kraken’s COO for six years and grew Kraken from 50 to over 3,000 employees. Under Ripley’s guidance, Kraken completed more than 16 acquisitions and secured a significant number of global regulatory licenses and partnerships.

According to WSJ, Kraken’s management shake up is due to increasing regulatory scrutiny as the exchange is under federal investigation as it is suspected of violating U.S. sanctions by allegedly allowing users in Iran to trade cryptocurrency using the platform. 

As the crypto industry faces regulatory pressure, crypto platforms have been onboarding compliance talents. Recently, digital banking platform, Cogni, hired seasoned crypto executive, Simon Grunfeld, as VP of Web3 to spearhead the platform’s Web3 expansion and regulatory compliance as new regulations come out this year or next year. 

Dibbs, a platform for tokenisation and redemption of physical and digital items for IP owners and collectors, hired William Plumeri as chief compliance officer as the company moves to fulfil its regulatory commitments.

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