“Settlement” Secured: Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao to Step Down After $4 Billion Deal with US Authorities, Says Source familiar

According to a source familiar with the matter, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao may step down from the company as part of a major $4 billion settlement with the Department of Justice and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. The Securities and Exchange Commission is not participating in the settlement. Both Binance and the government agencies involved have not commented on the matter.

The SEC charged Binance and its founder CZ in June for operating an unregistered exchange and misleading investors by using a Switzerland-based fund Sigma Chain, also owned by CZ, to inflate the trading volume on Binance’s U.S. platform. The CFTC also brought charges against the company for offering crypto derivatives to U.S. citizens without registering as a futures commodity merchant.

Bloomberg reported that Binance is set to agree to a $4 billion settlement with the Justice Department, marking the end of an investigation that began in 2018. Additionally, federal prosecutors had asked Binance to hand over files and messages relating to its U.S. customers in late 2020.

In September, Binance announced the formation of a Global Advisory Board led by former US Senator and Ambassador to China Max Baucus, with other notable members including David Plouffe and Bruno Bézard.