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The crypto markets experienced a 4% drop, erasing $61 billion in value from the overall market capitalization of cryptocurrencies.
The market is now trying to understand the potential impact of the recent Binance news, such as whether the company will need to sell BTC and other tokens to pay the fine.
Binance Agrees to $4.3B Settlement; CEO Changpeng 'CZ' Zhao Resigns and Pleads Guilty
Key points about Binance's Billion-Dollar Fine and CZ's Resignation:
Yesterday's confirmed information that Binance agreed to pay a USD 4.3 billion fine (the largest of its kind in U.S. history) to the U.S. Department of Justice, and the resignation of Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the founder and leader of the world's largest crypto exchange, became the main and market-impacting news. It was analyzed from various angles, and the main points are as follows:
Binance acknowledged violating anti-money laundering, money transmission laws, and sanctions, and CZ also admitted his guilt regarding insufficient money laundering prevention. The company also now promises to completely withdraw from the U.S. market.
CZ himself will have to pay a USD 50 million fine and awaits a court decision regarding possible imprisonment. Theoretically, he could face up to 10 years, but realistically it is expected to be no longer than an 18-month period. However, judging by other similar cases (e.g., BitMEX founder Arthur Hayes's case), CZ could entirely avoid prison. Currently, CZ is released on a USD 175 million bail and must appear in court on February 23.
Richard Teng, who has worked in various leadership positions in the company since 2021, has been appointed as the new CEO of Binance.
The exchange says it will emerge from this situation stronger and is set to lay the groundwork for further development over the next 50 years. It also emphasizes that the company was not accused of misusing client funds or market manipulation and reminds that its reserves are redeemable so that clients can freely withdraw funds. Following the announcement of the news, more than USD 1 billion worth of tokens were withdrawn from Binance, but this is not the first such case, and similar amounts have been processed before.
CZ acknowledges making mistakes for which it is now time to answer. The former leader also says he can continue to advise the exchange if needed. CZ now plans to rest in the United Arab Emirates and later invest in blockchain, Web3, DeFi, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology startups. He also says he does not see himself as a startup leader again but could advise such teams.
Binance's ability to potentially pay a hefty $4.3 billion fine without selling any crypto assets is a big deal! This was at least one significant uncertainty that was bothering investors in the market.
It's a strong sign of their financial health and a reminder for the whole crypto industry about playing by the rules, especially when it comes to U.S. regulations.
Meanwhile, Binance's token BNB, which led yesterday, is today the worst-performing token in the top 10 list.
Following the news, there are other theories:
Travis Kling suggested back in June 2023 that Binance's removal from the U.S. was allegedly a crucial condition before the approval of a BTC ETF…
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Disclaimer: This newsletter is strictly educational. None of this information is intended to be financial advice. Always do your research and act responsibly with your profits.