Former US Senator Joins Binance as Policy Adviser and Government Liaison

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has hired former U.S. senator and ambassador to China Maxwell Baucus as a government relations adviser.

The exchange announced Thursday in a press release it had hired the long-term government official to provide guidance and advice to the firm and work with U.S. regulators. The move could signal a shift in Binance’s approach to the U.S. market, which it currently doesn’t serve directly.

Baucus was an ambassador to China under former President Barack Obama between 2014 and 2017. Prior to that, he served in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for nearly 40 years representing the state of Montana.

“His experience at the highest levels of government and intimate understanding of global regulation brings exceptional value to Binance and enhances our already strong compliance and policy team,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a statement.

While in the Senate, Baucus chaired the Committee on Finance, which oversees tax and tariff issues as well as some trade agreements.

In a statement, Baucus said cryptocurrencies could potentially drive “a revolution in how money is managed leading to a fairer and more equitable financial world.”

“Binance is one of the largest organizations involved in bringing these to the mainstream and it’s a privilege to assist in appropriately navigating the complex political and regulatory frameworks that hold the key to enabling wider adoption,” he said.

Binance doesn’t currently directly serve U.S. residents, having set up a San Francisco-based entity specifically for the purpose in mid-2019. Binance.US began operating in September of that year.

See also: Coinbase Calls Out Binance as It Bemoans Compliance Burden

The parent exchange has announced on multiple occasions that it was working to remove U.S. customers from its platform, citing its terms of use. Exchanges operating within the U.S. are subject to a number of regulatory agencies at both the state and federal level.

Baucus “will also play a key role consulting and liaising with U.S. regulators and authorities on decisive policies that affect the larger global industry and best practices to further guide sustainable developments for Binance and the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem,” the press release said.

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