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Binance boss Changpeng Zhao resigns after agreement with US authorities

The company has been under investigation by American justice since 2018. DADO RUVIC / REUTERS

The company will pay $4.3 billion to the American courts to end the proceedings against it.

This is a new earthquake in the world of cryptoassets. Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has resigned as part of a global settlement with US authorities. In exchange for dropping the multiple procedures launched against the group, “CZ” as he calls himself agreed to plead guilty and abandon his post. Binance will also pay a fine of around $4.3 billion to settle the case.

Several federal laws violated

The group and its emblematic founder have been in the sights for several months. The platform was prosecuted for violating several federal laws, notably against money laundering. Binance was also accused of not having requested the necessary licenses from the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell cryptocurrencies. With the exception of bitcoin, these are considered financial instruments in the United States.

The American authorities also accused Changpeng Zhao of having deliberately blurred the supposed independent links between the group and its American entity Binance US, of having allowed American citizens to carry out transactions on the global platform in complete illegality and of transferred client funds to two companies (Merit Peak Ltd and Sigma Chain) located outside the United States.

Binance is a major player in the world of cryptocurrencies, with a market share well over 50% globally among exchanges. The group is also a major investor in this ecosystem.

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