In a major development, it has been reported that CEO Changpeng Zhao of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, will resign and plead guilty to violations of US anti-money laundering regulations. The company will continue to operate under new leadership. The news was broken by the Wall Street Journal, citing sources in the filing.
Changpeng Zhao is due to appear in a federal court in Seattle on Tuesday afternoon local time and enter his guilty plea. His company Binance will also plead guilty to a criminal complaint and agree to a billion-dollar fine totaling 4.3 billion euros.
This deal marks the end of a long investigation into Binance, which was founded by Changpeng Zhao in 2017 and has since become the most important international hub for cryptocurrencies. Under this agreement, Changpeng Zhao will retain a majority stake in the company but without an executive role in management. He will later be sentenced for his actions.
In August, it was announced that Binance would remain active in Belgium through a Polish license. Financial regulator FSMA had ordered Binance to discontinue its crypto services in Belgium and transfer all funds back to its customers at the end of June due to operating illegally “from countries that are not members of the European Economic Area”. The links provided do not seem relevant to the previous text and feel out of place here.