Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ) has announced his resignation as CEO of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange following Binance Holdings Limited's (Binance) guilty plea and agreement to pay over $4 billion to resolve a US Justice Department investigation into violations. The charges include failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering (AML) program, a violation of the Bank Secrecy Act.
In his post on X, Zhao mentioned that Binance is no longer in its infancy, and it is time for him to step aside. Richard Teng, Binance's former global head of regional markets, will take over as the new CEO. Zhao pledged to remain available to the team for consultation as a shareholder and former CEO.
The court documents revealed that Binance admitted prioritizing growth and profits over compliance with US law. The exchange, launched in 2017, failed to implement controls to prevent money laundering and allowed US customers to conduct transactions with individuals in sanctioned jurisdictions.
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland stated, "Binance became the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in part because of the crimes it committed – now it is paying one of the largest corporate penalties in U.S. history." Zhao, in his post, expressed his intention to focus on passive investing and being a minority shareholder in startups in areas like blockchain, Web3, DeFi, AI, and biotech.
(With Agency Inputs)