Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance

Crypto and banking are one and the same

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

People were surprised to see a headline that garnered much market shock:

Markets Crash after reports that Binances Shangai Office Closed in Crypto Crackdown

Argh. Crypto meltdown!

I was amused to see a headline that garnered much online mirth:

Markets Crash after reports that Binances Shangai Office Closed in Crypto Crackdown

Because Binance doesn’t have an office in Shanghai.

Like most modern firms, Binance has a virtual office with an address in Shanghai but their people, workers, management and staff all live around the world. Not in Shanghai. This fact was reported in more depth in The Block:

“Sources said many of Binance's executives along with as many as 100 other employees worked at the office”, but “when reached for comment, a Binance spokesperson refuted the raid, saying that the exchange doesn't have ‘a fixed office in Shanghai’.”

This is a great reflection on decentralisation and globalisation, and the challenge to governments and regulators of technology and networks.

A little bit like Puertopia, where the crypto millionaires have colonised Puerto Rico, offshore tax havens and states that provide crypto immunity are very popular. It’s why Binance is head officed in Malta and why so many companies have subsidiaries in the West Indies, Caribbean, British Virgin and Channel Islands. It’s all about escaping governance. And it’s not just crypto kids doing this. Big companies do it all the time. Take Apple:

Apple said 70 percent of its profits come from outside the US, yet its foreign tax rates typically fall between two to five percent only. In the US, it would have paid a 35 percent tax rate on those profits.

And, of course, banks do it all the time too:

When Barclays boss Bob Diamond confirmed that the bank had about 300 subsidiaries in tax havens there were gasps of dismay at a Treasury Select Committee hearing earlier this month.

They even promote it:

In a corporate brochure published on Barclays' website, Mauritius is promoted as “the offshore financial centre of choice for India and the sub-Saharan region” and “the experienced and established gateway for investment into Africa and Asia”.

In other words, the decentralisation model is already working well in the real, physical world, so what’s the problem with decentralisation in the networked, virtual world? It’s just the same thing?

In other words, crypto and banking are both decentralised finance. The only difference is that crypto does it online.

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

Intelligent Money: Our Future Is Where We Do Not Think About Money, As Our Money Thinks For Us

What is the future?

Learn more

Learn more about Chris

About Chris Skinner

The Past, Present And Future Of Banking, Finance And Technology

Fintech expert Chris Skinner: countries need digital transformation to remain competitive

Join me on Linkedin

Follow Me on X!

Hire Chris Skinner for dinners, workshops and more

Learn directly from from one of the most influential people in technology, gain insights from the world's most innovative companies, and build a global network.

Chris’s latest book

Order now

Chris Skinner’s ‘Intelligent Money’ Book Launch Event

Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on FinTech 2023

Chris Skinner
Commentator, CEO of The Finanser and best-selling author at The Finanser

Thinkers360 Thought Leader

Contact Me

Global Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award

Global 100 - 2024 Winner

Chris Skinner - Financial Markets Advisor of the Year - The Finanser - UK 2023

Best Financial Markets Advisor of the Year 2023

30 Best Regtech Blogs and Websites 2023

Kids creating the future bank | TEDxAthens

Captain Cake and the Candy Crew

Captain Cake Winner of a Golden Mom’s Choice Award


Alex at the Financial Services

Gaping Void's Hugh MacLeod worked with the Finanser