One of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges by traded volume is aiming to hire staff across Asia and Europe despite heightened regulatory scrutiny and a market crash that has seen the value of digital assets plummeting.
Binance wants to hire for roles in Singapore, as well as 50 new employees in its headquarters in Malta. The year-old company currently employs nearly 300 people across 39 countries and is targeting additional staff across operations, compliance, and customer service.
The expansion comes even as New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood on Tuesday said that her office referred Binance and two other exchanges to the state’s Department of Financial Services for possible violation of digital-currency regulations. A spokeswoman for Binance declined to comment on the matter.
The market’s leading coins have taken a big hit recently, with Bitcoin having fallen as much as 66 percent from its December peak. Ethereum is now 85 percent below its January high, marking a 70 percent drop so far this year.
Despite the rapid growth of tokens traded on Binance, with 148 added over the past 12-months and 381 trading pairs, Zhou maintains the exchange is turning away the majority of applicants.
“I think it’s harder to get into Binance than it is to get to Harvard and Stanford. It’s like less than 2 to 3 percent acceptance rate in terms of tokens we’re looking at,” he said.
Binance signed an agreement in September with the Malta Stock Exchange to start a new digital exchange for security token trading.
“Our goal right now is to continue to grow the ecosystem, not just for cryptocurrency, but for the blockchain industry as well,” Binance’s Chief Financial Officer Wei Zhou said in an interview. “The next area of growth, in addition to the crypto-exchange, is the move into fiat.” The company is currently looking to acquire projects in the fiat space, Zhou said, declining to comment further.
Binance is one of the fastest growing venues to trade cryptocurrencies, despite run-ins with authorities in Japan and Hong Kong. The U.S. attorney general began asking 13 major crypto marketplaces for details on their operations, internal controls, and safeguards against market manipulation and fraud, culminating in this week’s referral to the Department of Financial Services.
Zhou said the exchange is also planning to allow users to swap cryptocurrencies into the Singaporean dollar over the next few months. Binance has already launched a fiat-to-crypto exchange in Uganda back in June, and is in the works to launch one in Singapore that will support the Singapore dollar, with testing starting this week. It currently allows exchange into the Swiss franc and euro in Liechtenstein.