Binance hires a former US Internal Revenue Service special agent to run its intelligence department

The cryptocurrency exchange Binance has hired a former agent for the Criminal Investigation Division of the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS-CI) Â to run his new intelligence department, a strong indication that the company is looking to strengthen its compliance resources.

Tigran Gambaryan will join Binance as vice president of Global Intelligence and Investigations, the company announced on Thursday. Binance is Gambaryan’s first private sector employer since joining the IRS as a special envoy in September 2011.

While at the IRS, Gambaryan investigated cases of national security, terrorist financing, tax evasion and identity theft. He was also involved in researching Silk Road, a dark web marketplace that made some of the earliest cryptocurrency transactions possible. Silk Road was closed by the FBI in October 2013, founder Ross Ulbricht was arrested and ultimately sentenced to double life imprisonment plus 40 years with no parole.

Binance hires a former US Internal Revenue Service special agent to run its intelligence department
Binance hires a former US Internal Revenue Service special agent to run its intelligence department

At Binance, Gambaryan is tasked with conducting internal and external investigations “to prevent threats and financial losses”. The audit and investigation team will also work closely with law enforcement and regulators.

Binance appears to be stepping up its compliance efforts in response to regulatory turmoil around the world. The exchange was forced to suspend operations and trading services in several markets including Japan, the UK, Germany and the Canadian province of Ontario for alleged non-compliance with local licensing laws.

Most recently, Binance decided to block fiat deposits and cryptocurrency trading services in Singapore under regulatory pressure. The exchange also dropped cryptocurrency futures and options in Australia.

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