- Payments CFO veteran Jasmine Lee will move to the top financial position at cryptocurrency firm Binance.US as the crypto exchange looks to smooth its path to a future initial public offering (IPO), the company announced Thursday.
- Lee will oversee “all aspects” of the company’s financial operations, a company spokesperson wrote via email, including tax, treasury, accounting and investor relations. “She will be focused on building out a best-in-class finance department at Binance.US that lays a strong foundation for continued growth and a path to a future IPO,” the spokesperson wrote.
- The move comes as the crypto industry has been destabilized by several high-profile digital asset crashes that have led to a drop in trading activity and the recent shuttering of several exchanges and cryptocurrency projects.
The beaten down crypto market has not derailed Binance.US’s plans to eventually go public. Lee will work to guide Binance.US through its plans for a future IPO, according to a company spokesperson, who noted the cyclical nature of markets in an email, stating that financial markets “globally are under pressure presently for various macro and idiosyncratic reasons.”
“We are targeting an IPO in 2-3 years,” the spokesperson wrote. “We expect a more favorable environment then, but also understand the reality that there will be draw downs and periods of volatility in the future just as there are today. We are positioning our business to weather these storms and thrive over the long-term.”
Previously, Lee served as CFO and COO for Acorns, and was CFO and COO of consumer product and engineering for for payment processing company PayPal. She also held the CFO role for the company’s global consumer product as well as PayPal-owned payment corporation Xoom, according to her LinkedIn account. She began her career at audit firm Ernst & Young (EY).
The Palo Alto, California-based cryptocurrency platform is the U.S. partner of global cryptocurrency exchange Binance — itself based in the Cayman Islands — which announced in 2019 that it would no longer offer services to U.S. citizens following regulatory scrutiny approximately a day after it had noted plans to expand to the country, according to a June 14 report that year by CoinDesk.
Lee’s CFO appointment comes a few weeks after the platform removed spot trading fees for bitcoin, with Binance.US President and CEO Brian Shroder stating the move would help to generate positive feedback from users as well as expand cryptocurrency access, according to a June 23 report by CoinTelegraph.
The cryptocurrency industry has wobbled in recent months following crashes of stablecoins such as Luna, with digital currency bitcoin’s value particularly dipping 60% between April and June — one of its worst quarters on record, according to a Monday report by Bloomberg. Assets under management for crypto projects also decreased severely during this period.
“We are seeing market participants today run in to issues around the use of leverage,” the Binance.US spokesperson wrote in an email regarding current cryptocurrency market trends. “To date, Binance.US has not offered margin to its customers, and is thus insulated from these issues. As CFO, Jasmine will work to ensure sound financial operations and proper stewardship of customer assets remain core to Binance.US’s business in the current environment and beyond.”
Tough times in the industry have seen other firms bow out, leading crypto brokerage Voyager to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday following a defaulted loan to Three Arrows Capital and prolonged volatility in the market. Facebook parent Meta, meanwhile, announced plans to shutter its Novi digital wallet this week, one of the final bastions of the social media network’s Libra project which was intended to help it muscle its way into the cryptocurrency field. The company will officially close down Novi Sept. 1.