Former Binance CEO CZ has 70% Stake in BNB: Report

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Former Binance chief executive and billionaire Changpeng Zhao has been reported to own a substantial 64% of the circulating supply of Binance Coin (BNB).

The crypto entrepreneur’s stake is equivalent to approximately 94 million BNB tokens. as per an on-chain analysis conducted by Gray Wolf Analytics and financial publication Forbes.

Binance Founder’s Ownership and Control of BNB

The analysis highlighted that out of the initial 200 million BNB tokens, 80 million were allocated to the Binance founding team. The exchange has the ownership of over 46 million of these original tokens. If one combines the two numbers, Binance and CZ together own 71% of the 147 million BNB tokens that are circulating the market.

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CZ’s significant holdings and his 90% equity stake in Binance have propelled him to the 24th position on the list of the world’s wealthiest individuals, with an estimated net worth of $61 billion.

BNB Tokenomics and Market Performance

BNB, the native token for the exchange, is used for transaction fees and rewards. The maximum supply of the altcoin is capped at 200 million, with over 153 million currently in circulation.

Cryptocurrencies like BNB tied to exchanges are also used for staking rewards and launchpad innovations.

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At a price of $593 per token, BNB’s market cap exceeds $91 billion. The token has experienced a significant price surge, more than doubling from around $290 in January 2024 to a high of $724 in June 2024.

Legal Challenges and Binance Founder

In 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted Zhao and Binance on charges of violating sanctions and money laundering laws. Facing these severe allegations, Zhao entered into a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors, admitting the violation of the Bank Secrecy Act.

The disgraced entrepreneur had to resign from his position as CEO of Binance. Richard Teng succeeded him in this role.

The settlement included hefty fines: Zhao was fined $50 million personally, while Binance faced a $4.3 billion penalty. Additionally, the DOJ appointed the Forensic Risk Alliance, an independent consulting firm, to monitor Binance’s operations for the next three years.

Prison Time for Zhao

On April 30, 2024, U.S. federal judge Richard Jones sentenced Zhao to four months in prison. The sentence was notably lighter than the three-year term recommended by prosecutors. Notably, the accusations by the DoJ and other US authorities cast a significant shadow over the firm. Also, the exchange has also had most of its market share recently.

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