After working as CEO of major crypto exchange Binance.US for less than four months, Brian Brooks announced Friday that he would step down., a move that was greeted with confusion and suspicion by the cryptocurrency community.
Citing “differences over strategic direction”, the now former CEO said who had already resigned from his position at Binance’s US affiliate. Brooks had been at the helm of the crypto exchange since taking over from the previous CEO, Catherine Coley, on May 1.
Greetings #crypto community. Letting you all know that I have resigned as CEO of@BinanceUS. Despite differences over strategic direction, I wish my former colleagues much success. Exciting new things to come!
– Brian Brooks (@BrianBrooksUS) August 6, 2021
Greetings to the crypto community. I let everyone know that I have resigned as CEO of @BinanceUS. Despite differences over strategic direction, I wish my former colleagues every success. New exciting things are to come!
Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance – a separate entity from its US subsidiary – said that Brooks’s resignation would not “impact Binance.US customers in any way”. He explained that:
“I remain confident in the Binance.US business and its commitment to serving its customers and innovating. […] As one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States, Binance.US is poised to continue to grow and power the future of finance. “
However, some members of the cryptocurrency community they speculated that Brooks’ decision to leave the company was based on inside knowledge of the issues surrounding the global exchange Binance, possibly by regulators or other market forces.
Brian Brooks knows something big https://t.co/lLhErXNBw4
– Ivan on Tech – Made with Moralis (@IvanOnTech) August 6, 2021
Brian Brooks knows something important.
Others they connected the timing of its departure with the regulatory backlash facing Binance, which has led the exchange to backtrack or even cease to perform functions in certain regions. Regulators in Japan, the UK, Germany, and Canada have recently issued orders or warnings against Binance for various reasons.
BREAKING: Binance US CEO Brian Brooks announces his resignation after just a few short months amid ongoing scrutiny from dozens of regulators, and agencies. pic.twitter.com/00KbVka0sr
– CryptoWhale (@CryptoWhale) August 6, 2021
BREAKING NEWS: Binance US CEO Brian Brooks announces his resignation after just a few months amid ongoing scrutiny from dozens of regulators, and agencies.
Binance has faced scrutiny even in the United States, and both the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service have investigated the company for alleged illegal business activity. Reportedly, the exchange is the subject of an investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in relation to alleged transactions by US clients.
Others they speculated that Brooks’ departure could be related to his belief that the cryptocurrency exchange business is not profitable in the long run. Those comments were made in an interview with Forbes weeks before his resignation.
Ex-Binance US CEO Brian Brooks: “An exchange is not a profitable long term business.”
SBF: “…?” pic.twitter.com/xsd9kAJNDz
– Alan (@AlanStacked) August 6, 2021
Brian Brooks, former CEO of Binance US: “An exchange is not a profitable business in the long term.”
The overall conclusion of that interview, according Forbes writer Javier Paz, was the “inevitable management clash” at Binance.US, probably between Brooks and the board of directors. According to a Username From Twitter, “It must be horrible to work against your moral compass.”
The exclusive interview that Brian Brooks gave my colleague @Steven_Ehrlich a few days ago unveiled an inevitable clash of direction for @BinanceUS. The story here quoted by the illustrious @FT https://t.co/Qv9hBuuvG5
– Javier Paz (@eltrade) August 7, 2021
Brian Brooks’ exclusive interview with my colleague @Steven_Ehrlich a few days ago revealed an inevitable managerial clash for @BinanceUS. The story is cited here by the illustrious @FT
Not surprised. It must be awful working against your moral compass. You deserve better. Maybe it’s time to start your own crypto business and apply your integrity to the fullest. Wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
– CONSENSUS (@EnableConsensus) August 6, 2021
I’m not surprised. It must be horrible working against your moral compass. You deserve something better. Maybe it’s time to start your own cryptocurrency business and apply your integrity to the fullest. I wish you the best in your future endeavors.
Some users they remembered that Brooks’s desire to pursue a “strong compliance program” had the full backing of the board of directors just a few months ago.:
Brian Brooks in May:
“I wouldn’t have taken this job if I didn’t have a strong commitment from the board to lead a strong compliance program” https://t.co/kL7xy6HK8B
– Blockworks (@Blockworks_) August 6, 2021
Brian Brooks in May:
“I would not have taken this job if I did not have a strong commitment from the board to lead a strong compliance program.
Very strange… https://t.co/dzoWctdyS9
– antonio cantalapiedra asensio (@tonikant) August 7, 2021
Something isn’t right at binance
Cathrine Coley doesn’t even tweet anymore at all.
Brian Brooks Rolled Out
They blocked me.
Yeah..Rug Pull in coming.
– Dxron – I Steal Whale Money. (@ Dxron2) August 7, 2021
Something is wrong with binance
Cathrine Coley doesn’t even tweet at all anymore.
Brian brooks left
They blocked me.
Yes … A carpet roll on the way.
#Binance US CEO Brian Brooks resigns! ❌
Read NOW! https://t.co/3Drrbn2YXa pic.twitter.com/JtbIHenjf8
– Investing.com (@Investingcom) August 6, 2021
Binance.US CEO Brian Brooks resigns !!!
As of this writing, Brooks had yet to reveal his career plans. Prior to joining Binance.US, he held various high-profile positions at Coinbase and the Office of the Comptroller of the United States Currency..
With additional information from Turner Wright.