Brian Brooks announced his resignation as chief executive officer of major cryptocurrency exchange Binance.US on Friday, a move that elicited uncertainty and scepticism from the crypto community.
The now-former CEO stated that he had already resigned from his role as CEO of Binance’s US subsidiary due to “differences over strategic direction.” Brooks has been leading the cryptocurrency exchange since May 1, when she took over from former CEO Catherine Coley.
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
Brooks’ departure would have no influence on Binance, according to Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of the company’s Chinese arm. Customers in the United States in any way.” He elaborated:
“I remain confident in Binance.US’s business and its commitment to serve its customers and innovate […] As one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States, Binance.US is poised to continue to grow and empower the future of finance.”
Members of the outspoken crypto community, on the other hand, speculated that Brooks’ decision to leave the company was based on internal knowledge of difficulties surrounding the global Binance exchange, which might have come from regulators or other market factors.
Brian Brooks knows something big https://t.co/lLhErXNBw4— Ivan on Tech – Made with Moralis (@IvanOnTech) August 6, 2021
Others linked his departure to Binance’s regulatory woes, which have forced the exchange to scale back or possibly shut down operations in certain regions. For various reasons, regulators in Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada have recently issued orders or warnings against Binance.
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
Even in the United States, Binance has being investigated by the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service for possible unlawful trading behaviour. According to reports, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is looking into purported trades by US consumers on the exchange.
Others claimed that Brooks’ departure was linked to his conviction that the crypto exchange business is not long-term lucrative. Those remarks were made in a Forbes interview just weeks before he resigned.
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
According to Forbes reporter Javier Paz, the main takeaway from that interview was the “inevitable clash of direction” at Binance.US, most likely between Brooks and the board of directors. “It must be awful working against your moral compass,” one Twitter user said.
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
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 endeavours.— CONSENSUS (@EnableConsensus) August 6, 2021
Brooks’ determination to pursue a “strong compliance programme” had the full support of the board just a few months ago, according to some users:
Brian Brooks in May:— Blockworks (@Blockworks_) August 6, 2021
“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
The resignation was viewed as “very strange” on Crypto Twitter, especially given the euphoria around Brooks’ hire just a few months prior.
Very strange… https://t.co/dzoWctdyS9— antonio cantalapiedra asensio (@tonikant) August 7, 2021
Something isn’t right at binance— Dxron – I Steal Whale Money. (@Dxron2) August 7, 2021
Cathrine Coley doesn’t even tweet anymore at all.
Brian brooks rolled out
They blocked me.
Yeah..Rug Pull in coming.
#Binance U.S. CEO Brian Brooks resigns!❌— Investing.com (@Investingcom) August 6, 2021
Read NOW! https://t.co/3Drrbn2YXa pic.twitter.com/JtbIHenjf8
Brooks has yet to reveal his future plans as of this writing. He held many high-profile positions at Coinbase and the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency before joining Binance.US.