The U.S. authorities’ action against Binance ended with the resignation of its founder and CEO, known as @CZ, and $4.3 billion in fines.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has agreed to resign from his position at the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange as part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

“I’m pleased to announce that @_RichardTeng, our now former Global Head of Regional Markets, has been named the new CEO of Binance today,” — CZ.

Binance will pay $4.3 billion in fines as part of the agreement but will be able to continue operating in the US.

While acknowledging the substantial (record-breaking) financial commitment required, Binance reported revenues of $12 billion in 2022 and $20 billion in 2021.

CZ himself is reportedly set to plead guilty to violations of anti-money laundering regulations, with an anticipated suspended sentence. However, he will retain a controlling stake in Binance.

The sentencing of CZ for violating anti-money laundering laws will be announced at a later date. In a similar case, Arthur Hayes, the former CEO of BitMEX, was given a two-year suspended sentence.

CZ’s plans after taking some time for a break:

“After that, my current thinking is I will probably do some passive investing, being a minority token/shareholder in startups in areas of blockchain/Web3/DeFi, AI and biotech. I am happy that I will finally have more time to spend looking at DeFi,” — CZ.

The settlement addresses allegations from two U.S. investigations against Binance — for violations of anti-money laundering laws, sanctions, and failure to prevent terrorist financing.

However, separate claims by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) remain unsettled. In June, the SEC filed 13 charges against Binance, primarily for offering and selling securities unregistered securities. The suit also threatens billions of dollars in fines.

“On that note, I am proud to point out that in our resolutions with the U.S. agencies they:

  • do not allege that Binance misappropriated any user funds, and
  • do not allege that Binance engaged in any market manipulation.

Funds are SAFU!” — CZ.

The settlement with DoJ permits the exchange to maintain operations, ensuring its survival and allowing a significant segment of the crypto space to progress. Thus, it may seem like a mutually beneficial outcome. Notably, markets hate uncertainty far more than penalties or shifts in leadership.

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