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Binance’s Fall from Grace: CZ Steps Down, Pays $4.3B Fine
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Binance’s Fall from Grace: CZ Steps Down, Pays $4.3B Fine

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Binance CEO and founder, Changpeng Zhao has stepped down from his role. He pleaded guilty to violating the U.S. anti-money laundering laws as part of the final settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Changpeng Zhao “CZ”, the founder and CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, stepped down from his role and pleaded guilty to violating the U.S. anti-money laundering laws as part of the final settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). At the same time, Binance agreed to pay a fine of $4.3 billion to regulatory authorities, making it one of the largest settlements to date in the crypto industry’s history. CZ will also face 18 months of imprisonment for his criminal charges.

Following the news, Binance’s crypto token, BNB-USD plunged over 10% yesterday but has since recovered and is up 4.6% as of the last check. Similarly, Bitcoin (BTC-USD) fell 4.6% on November 21 but is up 2.1% at the time of writing.

Details of Binance-DOJ Settlement

As part of the settlement, Binance will pay $3.4 billion to the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and $968 million to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Moreover, the company has agreed to additional compliance requirements and report monitoring for five years. The fine also includes $50 million worth of personal penalties from CZ.       

Remarkably, CZ has taken full responsibility for failing to comply with regulatory standards and putting adequate controls on the crypto platform. He will continue as the majority shareholder of Binance but will not be allowed to take any management post until three years. Meanwhile, Binance announced that Richard Teng, who was Binance’s global head of regional markets, would step in as CEO effective immediately.

The settlement ends the nearly four-year-long investigation of Binance and CZ on multiple counts of money laundering, bank fraud, and violation of U.S. sanction laws. Further, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated that Binance failed to allow money to flow into the hands of “terrorists, cybercriminals, and child abusers” while only focusing on profit-making.

Is BNB Coin a Good Buy?

Following the settlement of Binance and CZ with the DOJ, the BNB coin should regain momentum. Year-to-date, BNB is up 7.6%.

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