CRYPTO

Binance hired a former IRS-CI special agent to head the intelligence department

The cryptocurrency exchange Binance has hired a former U.S. Internal Revenue Service agent to head its new intelligence division, a clear indication that the company is seeking to strengthen its compliance resources.

Tigaran Gambrian has joined as vice president of global intelligence and investigations, the company announced Thursday. Benson Gambrian is the first private sector employer since joining the IRS as a special agent in September 2011.

While at the IRS, Gambrian investigated cases involving national security, terrorist financing, tax evasion, and identity theft. He was also involved in the investigation of Silk Road, a dark web marketplace that facilitated some of the initial cryptocurrency transactions. The Silk Road was closed by the FBI in October 2013, whose founder, Ross Ulbricht, was arrested and eventually sentenced to double life imprisonment and 400 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

In Benson, Gambrian will be tasked with conducting internal and external investigations into “preventing threats and financial loss.” The audit and investigation team will work closely with law enforcement agencies and regulators.

In response to the rise of regulators around the world, Benson seems to have increased his compliance system. Exchange operations and trading services have been suspended in several markets, including Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Canadian province of Ontario, for alleged failure to comply with local licensing laws.

Related: Benson backed down against the South African regulator’s warning

Most recently, Fiat has been shutting down deposit and spot crypto trading services in Singapore under pressure from the banking regulator. The exchange has shut down crypto futures and options in Australia.