Changpeng Zhao has stepped down from the position of Chief Executive Officer for Binance, a venture he founded in 2017. CZ announced this through an official post, calling it an emotional moment and something that is right to do at the moment. He has named Richard Teng as the next CEO of Binance, stating that Binance is no longer a baby and must walk and run.
Teng comes with over three decades of experience in financial services. Zhao has called him a qualified leader, adding that he is confident in Richard’s ability to take Binance to greater heights in terms of transparency, security, growth, and compliance. Changpeng Zhao will continue making the run as a shareholder of the crypto firm.
Moreover, he has expressed his commitment to being available to those who wish to consult him in the framework of the US regulatory resolution.
Moving forward, Zhao will take a break and then explore his opportunities as a passive investor. Broadly speaking, he will explore segments like DeFi, Web3, Blockchain, and AI, among others. There is less chance of him returning as CEO of any venture. This is evident from the portion of the announcement wherein he said that he can’t see himself being a CEO driving a startup again.
Changpeng Zhao, now the former CEO of Binance, is looking at how new leadership plays out at Binance. Rest assured, Funds are SAFU, he concluded his announcement.
That being said, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Changpeng Zhao and Binance could be in for bigger trouble. CZ has stepped down, pleading guilty to the charges of breaking the AML laws of the US – Anti Money Laundering laws. Binance is now facing a penalty worth $4.3 billion. Zhao has personally committed to shedding $50 million from his account. This has been termed one of the largest corporate penalties in the history of the US by prosecutors.
Reportedly, Binance is also accused of failing to report more than 100,000 suspicious transactions with links to terrorist groups. This includes al Qaeda, Hamas, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Binance also failed to report transactions involving websites dealing with child sexual abuse materials.
Merrick Garland, a US Attorney General, has said that Binance made it convenient for malicious actors to move stolen and illicit funds on the platform. Merrick then added that Binance did something worse—pretended to comply with federal laws.
The Justice Department is currently seeking an eighteen-month prison sentence for the now-former CEO of Binance. The CFTC, or Commodity Futures Trading Commission, has charged Samuel Lim, the former Chief Compliance Officer of Binance. Zhao’s guilty plea came in a Seattle court. That has left Binance to pay $1.81 billion in 15 months plus $2.51 billion in forfeiture.