23 November 2023
· Changpeng Zhao to step down as Binance CEO
· Binance reaches $4.3bn settlement with US authorities
· Bitcoin reaches new all-time-high (in Argentina)
Changpeng Zhao (CZ) will step down as the CEO of Binance and pay a $50mn fine personally as part of a $4.3bn total company settlement with the Justice Department, the Treasury Department and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission — one of the largest corporate agreements in US history.
Binance will pay the $4.3bn civil monetary penalty to FinCEN, the financial crimes bureau within the Treasury department. That agreement comes with a 5-year monitorship and various agreements to bone up compliance and ensure the company’s complete exit from the US. It will also pay a $968mn fine to OFAC, the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
CZ has been released from custody on a $175mn bond. Zhao pleaded guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act on Tuesday, after federal officials alleged he directed Binance to allow US customers to use the platform without conducting proper KYC or AML checks. CZ faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and will be sentenced in a February hearing.
Richard Teng will take over as the new CEO of Binance. Formerly the company’s Global Head of Regional Markets, Teng’s elevation to the top job marks a turning point for the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. While co-founder Yi He might have been a more natural choice to succeed Zhao, Teng’s appointment signals a fresh start for Binance. By drawing a line under the previous leadership, the crypto exchange’s new CEO could help it weather what could be difficult times ahead.
Binance will still retain its international dominance after this episode.
The exchange saw over $950mn in net outflows within 24-hours after settling criminal charges in the US — an above average amount, but not unusually large on a weekly basis.
While the exchange experienced outflows, there was no major panic from customers, and it remains the dominant crypto exchange internationally, with $67bn of customer funds under custody. The exchange also has adequate funds to settle the $4.3bn fine while maintaining healthy operations.
Binance will no longer have a US based business or clientele, and will face more competition internationally from regulated exchanges in jurisdictions such as Hong Kong and Singapore, but it will remain a top three goliath in the years to come.
Binance Remains Largest Exchange in Spot Market
Source: The Block
Besides, this is likely the final straw before the American establishment feels comfortable to approve a regulated Bitcoin ETF — a major catalyst for a future bull run. CZ on the other now joins an esteemed cohort of characters at crypto’s pearly gates…
Going a Milei a Minute
Bitcoin has reached an all-time high in Argentina after Javier Milei won the presidential election. The price of Bitcoin in Argentina soared after the combination of pro-Bitcoin libertarian Javier Milei’s victory in the country’s presidential election this week and stubborn hyperinflation.
Bitcoin / Argentine Peso Reaches ATH
All eyes are now on what might be in store for crypto in the country, given Milei’s stances on monetary policy and the Argentine Peso’s severe issues with hyperinflation and devaluation. His presidency could pave the way for greater acceptance and integration of cryptocurrencies in Argentina’s economy, offering a potential solution it the long-standing of financial instability — the currency has suffered a more than 100% year-over-year depreciation rate versus the US dollar.
Milei plans to “dollarize” the Argentine economy by killing the Peso and shutting down the Argentine Central Bank. He also plans to get rid of ‘legal tender’ laws, meaning that Argentinians will be able to freely pick whichever currency (or digital asset) they want to deal in for their everyday use.
In terms of price and overall adoption, some believe bitcoin stands to gain substantially if Milei is able to encourage broader adoption of the digital currency.
Javier Milei wins presidential election in Argentina
In the News…
· Argentina elects pro-Bitcoin president Javier Milei
· Sam Altman to return as CEO of OpenAI
· Bitcoin Spot ETFs: Why do they matter?
· Fidelity joins BlackRock in race for Ethereum ETF
· Tether freezes $225mn USDT Feds say is linked to human trafficking
· Crypto exchange Bullish completes purchase of CoinDesk
· Crypto news site The Block bought by Foresight Ventures in $70mn deal
· Wannabe L2 Blast bursts onto scene promising high ETH yield — in 3 months
· Tomagotchi-like Fren Pet is crushing it on Coinbase’s Base network
· Ripple’s James Wallis underscores CBDCs’ role in breaking financial barriers
· Trade volume for Rocket Pool’s rETH outpaces stETH by 430%