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Binance Appoints Former HSBC Head as SA Boss

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Hannes Wessels

Global crypto-currency exchange Binance has appointed former HSBC South Africa global banking head Hannes Wessels as its country manager for South Africa.

In his new role, Wessels will be responsible for business development and leading the local operations.

According to a statement, he has over 10 years of experience in the finance sector.

Prior to joining Binance, Wessels was responsible for leading HSBC’s corporate and investment banking business in the country.

This included the payments and cash management business, which was named Euromoney’s leading payments business in South Africa in 2021.

“I am excited to join Binance at a time when crypto adoption is still in its infancy in South Africa and look forward to playing a leading role in Binance’s growth strategy in South Africa,” says Wessels.

Founded in 2017 by blockchain expert Changpeng Zhao, Binance is a European, Malta-domiciled crypto-currency exchange with a strong presence in Kenya, Nigeria and SA.

It provides a platform for trading various crypto-currencies and was billed as the largest crypto-currency exchange in the world in terms of trading volume, as of April 2021.

According to financial data analytics firm Finder, crypto-currencies and the blockchain industry generally have less than a 10% adoption rate in SA.

However, interest in the technology continues to grow and Binance says its key focus remains driving adoption as well as blockchain education in the region.

The exchange is launching a non-fungible token-based marketplace in efforts to connect users to creators and traders of collectibles in visual arts, music, games and sports, among others.

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