Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao Steps Down As CEO After Pleading Guilty To Money Laundering Charges In The US Zhao will remain Binance's majority shareholder, as well as a resource available for consultation on historical areas of the business.
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Changpeng Zhao (more popularly known as CZ), founder and CEO of the world's largest crypto exchange Binance, has pleaded guilty to money laundering charges levelled against him and his company by regulators in the US.
The New York Times reported that Binance has agreed to pay US$4.3 billion in fines and restitution to the US government. Plus, as part of his guilty plea, CZ agreed to pay an additional $50 million fine, and step down from his role as CEO of Binance.
Richard Teng –who was formerly Binance's Global Head of Regional Markets- will take over as CEO. However, Binance has stated that CZ will remain as the company's majority shareholder, and will also act a resource available for consultation on historical areas of the business.
In a statement, Binance said that it was "confident" that it will now emerge as a stronger company having reached this resolution with US regulators. "Of note, in our resolutions with the US agencies, they do not allege that Binance misappropriated any user funds, and they do not allege that Binance engaged in any market manipulation," the statement added.
In a tweet posted on X (the app formerly known as Twitter), CZ said: "Today, I stepped down as CEO of Binance. Admittedly, it was not easy to let go emotionally. But I know it is the right thing to do. I made mistakes, and I must take responsibility. This is best for our community, for Binance, and for myself."