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Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has revealed it has grown its compliance team by 500% so far this year and still plans on doubling it, ultimately as part of the firm’s mission to “increase the freedom of money for people around the world.”

In an open letter published by CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao on the Binance blog, he detailed that Binance has been focusing on its users and always acts in their best interest, especially now, at a time CZ described as one where traditional institutions and other firms are exploring and offering their own crypto services.

The CEO noted that today’s compliance and regulatory landscape “marks a historic moment for the blockchain and crypto industry,” as it reaches a “critical new stage of development.”  The exchange, he said, sees the regulatory process “as an amazing opportunity for proactive companies like Binance to pave the way forward for the industry.”

Binance’s Compliance Efforts

CZ noted that actively engaging with regulators and policymakers could help bring in “the next billion users” to the cryptocurrency space, writing:

We firmly believe that by working alongside regulators and policymakers to develop clear regulatory and legal frameworks, engaging in active self-regulation and putting our users first by protecting their interests, we can help welcome the next billion users to the world of crypto.

The open letter adds the process of compliance requires industry players to work alongside regulators and policymakers to organize the industry’s values and create a foundation for sustainable growth. As a result, Binance committed to several initiatives.

The first was growing its compliance team over 500% so far this year, with plans to double its size by the end of the year. On top of that, it brought in strategic advisors including Rick McDonnel and Josée Nadeau, a former Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Executive Secretary and the Head of the Canadian delegation.

The firm has also hired Tigran Gambaryan, who joined as VP of Global Intelligence and Investigations after a decade at the IRS-CI as a special agent, and Matthew Price as its Senior Director of Investigations.

Binance also committed to practicing self-regulation, so much so it restricted derivatives products trading to its users in Hong Kong in “order to help create a more sustainable blockchain ecosystem.”

 It’s also localizing its operations and businesses. Per the open letter, Binance is looking to be regulated and apply for cryptocurrency exchange-related operating licenses “in more local jurisdiction than any other blockchain ecosystem.”

 It adds Binance was one of the first exchanges to deploy technological solutions designed to comply with the FATF’s travel rule to help it meet “the highest standards for global Anti-Money Laundering compliance.” On top of that, it improved its know-your-customer (KYC) efforts and expanded global requirements for its users.

Finally, Binance launched a Law Enforcement Request system (LERS) to help it better collaborate with law enforcement agencies on a case-by-case basis.

Binance’s User Protection Efforts

The leading cryptocurrency exchange is also looking for additional ways to protect its users in the wild west that is the cryptocurrency space. It’s well-known for combatting cybercrime, something that CZ’s open letter addressed:

Binance takes unilateral action to prevent bad actors from using our platform, including working with local law enforcement to take down cybercriminal groups. In addition, we work with private sector chain analytics companies to proactively identify and offboard suspicious accounts

The exchange has also invested in user education by creating a library of articles they can browse through and improve their literary on and off the ecosystem, while developing the educational Binance Academy platform.

Its initiatives also included the launch of a responsible trading platform that encourages users to trade responsibly and offers them anti-addiction notices as well as cool-off periods to encourage responsible trading.

As CryptoGlobe reported, in 2018 it established a Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU) in the aftermath of an incident. The fund sees 10% of all trading fees collected on Binance be allocated to it and is used to protect users in emergency scenarios.

The Binance platform also includes a number of security features meant to protect its users, including hardware, app-based, SMS and email two-factor authentication (2FA) systems, withdrawal address whitelisting, and security alerts.

Featured image via Unsplash.