Binance founder Zhao steps down

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao is leaving his position as CEO of Binance as part of a significant $4 billion deal with the Department of Justice and the cryptocurrency exchange he founded, Forbes reported on Tuesday.

The move follows a Tuesday settlement with the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Department of Treasury, and the DOJ and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. The Securities and Exchange Commission is not taking part in the settlement.

Zhao also entered a guilty plea to Department of Justice-brought anti-money laundering charges as part of the deal.

In June, the SEC accused Binance and its founder, CZ, of running an unlicensed exchange and deceiving investors by inflating the trading volume on Binance’s U.S. platform through the use of a fund domiciled in Switzerland, Sigma Chain, which CZ also owned.

The company was accused of offering cryptocurrency derivatives, such as futures or options contracts, to American individuals without registering as a futures commodities merchant, according to allegations made by the CFTC, which led to the SEC’s action.

Last September, Binance announced a Global Advisory Board with Max Baucus, a former US senator and ambassador to China, as the chairman. Former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe and former French Treasury chief Bruno Bézard are among the other members.

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