Catherine Coley, the woman who led Binance.US for two years before being replaced under curious circumstances, has been missing for over 270 days, and people are getting concerned.
Coley was tapped to lead Binance.US in April 2019, way before the exchange made a mark for itself on the competitive U.S. market. She was one of the few women at the top of a major digital asset firm and was a beloved member of the community, appearing on endless interviews and events to talk blockchain, digital assets, women in tech, and more.
In April 2021, Binance.US announced that Brian Brooks, the then-Acting Comptroller of the Currency, would take over as the CEO. In its press release, the exchange didn’t mention Coley even once, not even to thank her for her service.
This rubbed many the wrong way. Meltem Demirors, one of the most prominent and vocal women in the space, commented at the time, “They exited her stage left without so much as a mention, and given how much work she did, I found it disgraceful and distasteful.”
Since then, Coley has disappeared, at least from the public eye. Before she left her post at Binance (some allege that she was forced to resign so that Brooks could take over), she was one of the most vocal people in the digital asset space. Her Twitter account had 44,600 followers and she would appear at events and interviews every other day. Her last tweet was on April 19 last year.
Coley’s mysterious disappearance has been the subject of speculation in the ecosystem since then. According to one report, even those close to her were concerned after they sent her birthday wishes last year, and she failed to acknowledge them or reply.
David Schwartz, the Ripple CTO, revealed months ago that Coley has also not responded to his messages.
She has not responded to my messages. I haven't tried an actual voice call though. Who does that?
— 𝙳𝚊𝚟𝚒𝚍 𝚂𝚌𝚑𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚝𝚣 (@JoelKatz) July 17, 2021
As Asia Markets reported in October, despite her perceived disappearance, her family hasn’t reported her as missing.
“We are unable to locate a police report related to the person to whom you referred,” the San Francisco Police Department told the outlet.
Coley’s disappearance from the public eye comes amid a push by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao to take the U.S. subsidiary public. This is despite regulatory crackdowns on Binance as reports of its reckless flouting of global regulations continue to crop up.
Brooks, who took over from Coley last year, only lasted a few months at the helm of Binance.US before stepping down. While he said that he resigned due to strategic differences, it was later revealed that Zhao had refused to heed some of the advice Brooks offered geared towards making Binance more compliant. Potential investors also pulled out of a $100 million funding as Brooks left.
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