The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has outlined a substantial amount of over $4 billion as the settlement figure for the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, to resolve its ongoing case.
As reported by Bloomberg, the protracted investigation, initiated by the Justice Department in 2020, involves alleged offenses such as money laundering, bank fraud, and sanctions violations by Binance.
Binance chief to face criminal charges
Meanwhile, negotiations between the DOJ and the exchange not only focus on the financial settlement but, introduce the possibility of criminal charges against Binance’s founder, Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, within the United States. Although, the potential charges against CZ have not been specified.
Despite the hefty sum, the development has been perceived positively by traders and investors, leading to increased activity in BNB holdings, according to CoinGecko. Moreover, this proposed agreement not only seeks to bring closure to the case but also includes provisions that would permit Binance to continue its operations within the US market.
While Binance has become one of the most prominent players in the cryptocurrency industry, this investigation highlights the regulatory challenges faced by such platforms. It underscores the increasing scrutiny of authorities towards crypto exchanges, aiming to ensure compliance with anti-money laundering and financial crime prevention measures.
What happens next?
However, the outcome of the negotiations between the Justice Department and Binance remains to be determined, as both parties strive to reach a suitable resolution. Notably, Binance still needs to make an official statement regarding the ongoing discussions or the allegations raised by the investigation.
If the settlement is reached and criminal charges are brought against the Binance chief, it could have significant implications for both the exchange and the crypto industry. However, the successful resolution of this investigation would serve as a powerful example of regulatory enforcement in the crypto space and potentially shape future policies and practices.
Binance’s legal predicament
Notably, Binance and Zhao are embroiled in a web of legal problems. Already facing charges from both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Binance’s troubles have deepened with the current fraud charges from the DOJ.
The SEC alleges that Binance operated an unregistered exchange in the US and intentionally allowed US citizens to participate on its offshore platform. The gravity of the SEC’s allegations has legal experts drawing parallels between the civil suits and a potential criminal indictment.