On the 21st of November 2023, Cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance Holdings Ltd. and its CEO Changpeng Zhao agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, marking the conclusion of a lengthy investigation. The settlement includes a hefty fine of $4.3 billion.

As part of the agreement, Zhao has resigned from his role as CEO but will maintain majority ownership of the company.

Binance CEO resigns

The settlement, announced today in Seattle Court, indicates that Zhao has pleaded guilty to charges related to violating anti-money laundering regulations. However, the terms of the deal may still allow Binance to continue its operations. Under the terms of the agreement, while Zhao will step down as CEO, he is prohibited from holding any executive position within the company.

This resolution follows earlier reports by Bloomberg, which anticipated the Justice Department’s demand for a $4 billion penalty from Binance and the inclusion of criminal charges against Zhao in the settlement plan. The announcement of the settlement is a significant moment for both the cryptocurrency industry and regulatory bodies, highlighting increased scrutiny and enforcement actions in the digital asset space.

This substantial $4.3 billion settlement encompasses both criminal and civil charges, encompassing various regulatory breaches. The impending announcement from U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is the culmination of an extensive probe by the U.S. Department of Justice into Binance’s practices.

This figure is particularly significant in the context of financial industry settlements. Changpeng Zhao, commonly known as “CZ,” founded Binance in 2017, rapidly steering it to become the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.

‘Who is going to be the next Binance CEO?’ is not yet decided.

CZ has not tweeted anything related to the event.

A representative from the Department of Justice (DOJ) chose not to provide any comments on the matter. The DOJ’s scrutiny of Binance stemmed from accusations that the exchange permitted individuals from countries under sanctions to use its platform, among other concerns. Additionally, earlier this year, Binance faced legal action from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

To be continued.