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Binance's Board of Directors: Who Are They?

The board consists of three independent members and four company insiders. It's a step towards better governance, with some caveats.

Binance's Board of Directors:

Binance Holdings, which runs the world’s biggest crypto exchange, has a brand new board of directors. This is the first major change at Binance under its new CEO, Richard Teng, who replaced CZ last year, promising to provide better transparency and switch the company to a conventional corporate structure. Establishing a Board of Directors with independent members, a Compliance Committee, and an Audit Committee was a part of the agreement between the exchange and the U.S. authorities, namely CFTC.

The board consists of four company executives and three independent members. The chairman is Mr. Gabriel Abed, a technology entrepreneur and former diplomat who served as ambassador of Barbados to the United Arab Emirates. Abed is involved with his own crypto projects such as Bitt, Alty, and Adar on Sora.

The second independent director, Mr. Arnaud Ventura, is the founder and former CEO of Baobab (formally known as MicroCred) a microcredit organization working in Africa and China. He is currently engaged as a managing partner at the investment firm Gojo, focusing on both Asian and African markets.

And number three is Ms. Xin Wang, a lawyer and managing partner at BHR Partners (Shanghai) Equity Investment Fund, formerly (Bohai Harvest RST), one of the oldest private equity funds in China, with U.S.-based investors (including Hunter Biden) and assets under management exceeding $2 billion. Xin Wang received her Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University and her Juris Doctorate from Boston University. She is a qualified lawyer in the State of California and a Solicitor in England and Wales.

The four company’s representatives on the board are its CEO Richard Teng, founding team members of Binance and its earliest employees Jinkai (Rock) He and Lilai Wang, as well as mysterious Heina Chen.

Guangying “Heina” Chen was the subject of different conspiracy theories even before her appointment to the board. The company website says that she is a senior executive and co-founder of Binance, but CZ’s mysterious associate earlier had no visible public presence at Binance. She allegedly has been a part of the company since its beginning and seems to be one of the main figures in its operations. Heina appeared in a recently released video about Binance's very early days.

In the lawsuit against Binance, the U.S. SEC described Heina's job as similar to a finance director, claiming that she helped artificially pump up the volumes of trading on the platform. Last year, Forbes found that she controlled more bank accounts and served as a director at more Binance entities, including those of Binance U.S. than any other executive apart from CZ. According to CZ's earlier blog post she simply oversees the admin and clearing team, while conspiracy theories state that she secretly owns Binance or even is a Chinese government agent.

It was expected that after a historic deal with the U.S. authorities when the exchange pleaded guilty to anti-money laundering and sanctions violations, and its irreplaceable CEO CZ resigned, Binance would adjust its business model to adapt to the new reality of governments trying to control the crypto market. Trying to avoid significant compliance issues in the future seems to be a worthy aim for the world’s biggest exchange, and the recent changes to the management system might be a part of this strategy.

The most recent compliance issues emerged in Africa and South East Asia. Nigeria detained two Binance top executives and later demanded the release of all transactions for Nigerian Binance users. Local authorities recently filed new charges of tax evasion against the exchange. Meanwhile, the SEC of the Philippines has taken actions to officially block Binance in the country for operating without proper license.

Overall, the board primarily comprises company insiders and independent members, who apparently have entrepreneurial and Web3 expertise rather than compliance or regulation experience. Some experts say this is proof the company remains “resistant to outside control and oversight.”

At the same time, there is a chance Binance is too big to fail and too big to be left in peace simultaneously. In this case, we will continue to witness compliance charges against the exchange from time to time, but the company will remain operational no matter what. Аll that remains for us is to Observe ongoing turmoil.