Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao Resigns, Pleads Guilty

Published: Nov 21, 2023
Written By:
Vignesh Karunanidhi
Milk Road Writer

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) plans to step down from his leadership role. Additionally, he will plead guilty to criminal violations of U.S. anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, according to sources familiar with the matter shared with WSJ.

CZ’s guilty plea is part of a sweeping $4.3 billion settlement deal between global cryptocurrency exchange Binance and U.S. authorities that will also see the company plead guilty to criminal charges related to AML compliance.

Key Highlights

  • CZ is expected to formally enter a guilty plea during court appearance in Seattle on Tuesday
  • He will step down as Binance CEO as part of the deal
  • Binance to pay $4.3 billion in total fines to settle civil and criminal allegations
  • Settlement aimed at allowing Binance to preserve operational abilities in the U.S.

Binance CEO to pay $4.3 billion in settlement

According to sources, the agreement is structured to enable Binance to continue conducting business globally despite its CEO’s resignation and criminal guilty plea. However, the company will likely be subject to strict oversight and monitoring by U.S. regulators moving forward.

The pending settlement ends a years-long investigation into Binance over concerns such as transparency, customer identification practices, and management of financial crime risks.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has not directly addressed the reported settlement details so far. But he has previously stated Binance’s intention to fully comply with all regulations in each jurisdiction it operates.

The official confirmation comes after a report by Forbes stating that CZ is willing to step down as part of a potential $4 billion settlement with U.S. authorities.

Vignesh Karunanidhi
Milk Road Writer
Vignesh has been a seasoned professional in the crypto space since 2017. He has been writing for over 5 years and specializes in writing and editing various types of crypto content, including news articles, long-form pieces, and blog posts, all focused on sharing the beauty of blockchain and crypto.