Binance hires former IRS-CI special agent to head intelligence division

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Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has hired a former United States Internal Revenue Service agent to head its new intelligence division, a strong indication that the company is looking to bolster its compliance resources.

Tigran Gambaryan joins Binance as vice president of global intelligence and investigations, the company announced Thursday. Binance is Gambaryan’s first private-sector employer since he joined the IRS as a special agent in September 2011.

During his time at the IRS, Gambaryan investigated cases involving national security, terrorism 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 earliest cryptocurrency transactions. Silk Road was shut down by the FBI in October 2013, with founder Ross Ulbricht arrested and eventually sentenced to a double life sentence plus 40 years with no possibility of parole.

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

Binance appears to be stepping up its compliance measures in response to regulatory upheaval from around the globe. The exchange has been forced to suspend operations and trading services in several markets, including Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Canadian province of Ontario, for allegedly failing to comply with local licensing laws.

Related: Binance pushes back against warning from South Africa regulator

More recently, Binance moved to block fiat deposits and spot crypto trading services in Singapore amid regulatory pressures. The exchange also ceased crypto futures and options in Australia.