Never a boring day in crypto. Not long after SBF got what he deserved, the US government has of today settled its biggest crypto lawsuit in history.
Changpeng “CZ” Zhao stepped down as CEO of Binance as part of a major $4 billion settlement between United States agencies and the cryptocurrency exchange he founded.
The End of CZ
The announcement from Zhao and multiple regulatory agencies on Tuesday capped yearslong investigations by the Department of Justice and others into anti-money laundering violations and sanctions violations.
On X, CZ made the announcement of stepping down and appointing a new CEO, Richard Teng. You can read the full post by clicking the image below.
In a press statement, Binance said it would take responsibility for not having appropriate compliance controls. “When Binance first launched, it did not have compliance controls adequate for the company that it was quickly becoming, and it should have.
4 Billon Dollars Settlement
As part of the settlement, CZ appeared in federal court in Seattle on Tuesday afternoon and pleaded guilty to anti-money laundering and sanctions violations brought by the Department of Justice. Additionally, Binance settled charges with the DOJ and Commodities Futures Trading Commission; the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which will give the Treasury Department access to Binance’s books and records under the terms of a five-year monitorship. “
Because of the crimes committed, Binance became the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world,” Merrick Garland, the US Attorney General, said during a press conference on Tuesday. “Now, Binance has paid one of the largest corporate penalties in US history.”
The Treasury Department said in a statement that it had taken “unprecedented action” to hold Binance accountable for violations of U.S. anti-money laundering laws. It alleged that Binance had failed to prevent and report “suspicious transactions with terrorists,” citing both Al Qaeda and ISIS. The settlement comes with a $3.4 billion penalty to FinCEN and $968 million to OFAC, as well as compliance requirements and monitoring for a period of five years.
“Binance turned a blind eye to its legal obligations in the pursuit of profit. Its willful failures allowed money to flow to terrorists, cybercriminals, and child abusers through its platform,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during a press conference.
The CFTC did not respond to requests for comment at the time of publication.
The SEC previously charged Binance and CZ in June with operating an unregistered exchange and misleading investors by using a Switzerland-based fund Sigma Chain, which was also owned by CZ, to inflate the trading volume on Binance’s U.S. platform. “Through thirteen charges, we allege that Zhao and Binance entities engaged in an extensive web of deception, conflicts of interest, lack of disclosure, and calculated evasion of the law,” SEC chair Gary Gensler said in June. The case is ongoing. The SEC declined to comment.
Will this event kill the positive momentum crypto had over the past weeks? Or was this is last FUD that needed to disappear to create an open road to the moon?
Only time will tell.
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