- Binance and CZ are settling with U.S. regulators for around $4 billion to end a DOJ investigation into whether Binance properly followed regulations
- As part of the settlement deal, Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) is discussing stepping down from leading the company
- If CZ resigns as CEO it would mark the exit of one of crypto’s most prominent leaders, though he’d likely still have major influence behind the scenes
Background on Binance and Regulatory Scrutiny
Founded in 2017, Binance grew quickly to become the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume. However, Binance has faced growing regulatory pressure in recent years over whether it properly follows rules around anti-money laundering and offering derivatives to U.S. customers.
In 2018, the DOJ began investigating if Binance was complying with regulations. More recently in June 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Binance and CZ with misleading investors and operating an unregistered exchange.
Potential $4 Billion Settlement and Leadership Change
According to sources, Binance is now set to pay around $4 billion to settle with U.S. regulators. As part of the deal, CZ is discussing stepping down from leading Binance.
The settlement would be between Binance, the DOJ, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The SEC is not formally part of the deal.
If CZ were to resign as CEO, it would mark the exit of one of the most prominent leaders in crypto. CZ co-founded Binance in 2017 and has been widely seen as a visionary figure.
The leadership change could usher in a new era for Binance as it aims to move past regulatory troubles. However, CZ would likely still wield major influence from behind the scenes even if he formally steps down.
The impending $4 billion settlement and potential resignation of CZ underscores the regulatory reckoning facing Binance. As the DOJ investigation wraps up, Binance appears ready to turn the page by paying a hefty fine and changing its leadership.