Binance’s Yi He Speaks About SEC Battle and Her Relationship With CZ
In a recent series of interviews with Bloomberg, Yi He, a low-profile but highly influential senior executive at Binance, spoke out about the ongoing legal battles faced by the cryptocurrency exchange. He, who holds a massive fortune as one of the early shareholders of Binance, also happens to be the mother of Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao’s (CZ) children. In these interviews, He addressed the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) lawsuit against the company and shed light on her relationship with CZ.
The SEC Lawsuit and Regulatory Attitudes
During the interviews conducted in Dubai, just before the SEC launched a lawsuit against Binance, He struck a conciliatory tone with regulators. She expressed respect for their attitude and intentions while also believing that their actions were misguided. He emphasized that if regulators took the time to understand the industry, they would realize that Binance’s compliance standards are on par with, if not higher than, those of other global trading platforms or offshore companies.
Binance, in response to the regulatory challenges it faces, published a blog post highlighting its commitment to legal compliance worldwide. The exchange boasts an 8000-person workforce, including 750 core and supporting compliance staff. This team comprises former law enforcement officers, regulators, crypto, fintech, and traditional banking compliance experts. Binance’s efforts to maintain compliance with regulations are evident, despite its lack of a formal headquarters and criticism regarding its governance structure and handling of client assets.
Transparency and Cooperation
Contrary to the criticism surrounding its transparency, He emphasized that Binance offers more transparency than its critics often acknowledge. She stated that the company strives to cooperate with regulators rather than evade them. He recognized the inevitability of global regulatory trends and emphasized that shouting “fight” is not a solution. Binance aims to work alongside regulators to build a sustainable and compliant ecosystem for cryptocurrency trading.
Yi He’s history with CZ dates back to her time at OKCoin in 2014 when she hired him as the Chief Technology Officer. Later, CZ asked He to be a consultant at Binance in 2017, where she played a crucial role in rewriting parts of the company’s whitepaper. While their relationship has been an open secret within the crypto industry, He referred to their connection as more than just a romantic partnership. She described it as a co-founder relationship based on shared beliefs and comradeship, surpassing the boundaries of gender. He rejected comparisons to the relationship between failed FTX and Alameda CEOs Sam Bankman-Fried and Caroline Ellison, emphasizing the difference between comradeship and dating.