Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao pleads guilty to money laundering

Together with

The Future. On the heels of FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried’s fraud trial, the next biggest leader in crypto is facing his own reckoning. Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of the biggest crypto exchange in the world, is stepping down after being found guilty in US court for money laundering. While there are still people who unwaveringly believe in the utility and philosophy of crypto, the demise of FTX and the confidence crisis at Binance may scare the average consumer away from putting their faith in the decentralized currency movement.

Another fall from grace
Binance’s Changpeng Zhao may be joining SBF in chains in a cell block.

  • Per the plea agreement, Zhao will have to pay a $50 million fine and could spend up to 18 months in prison (though, living in the UAE, extradition may be tough).
  • He can keep his ownership of Binance, but he has to step down from the C-suite and he’ll be unable to return.
  • Additionally, Binance will pay fines totaling $4.3 billion and admit wrongdoing.
  • Binance exec Richard Teng is expected to become CEO in the wake of Zhao’s exit.

The case stemmed from Zhao and Binance’s knowledge that it had millions of US users since 2019, despite not being registered there. On top of that, the exchange never set up systems to catch money laundering to countries that the US had sanctions against… resulting in Binance processing payments from Americans to users in Iran totaling $899 million. Yikes.

On the heels of the indictment, Binance’s namesake token fell 5.3% in value… in case you holders out there were wondering.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


No design skills needed! 🪄✨

Canva Pro is the design software that makes design simple, convenient, and reliable. Create what you need in no time! Jam-packed with time-saving tools that make anyone look like a professional designer.

Create amazing content quickly with Canva