Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has reportedly pled guilty to violating U.S. anti-money laundering requirements and will step down from his role at the exchange, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Reports are surfacing that Binance will also plead guilty to money laundering violations, and CZ will appear in Seattle court today. As of press time no updates from the SEC have been filed with the courts related to the case against Binance.

BNB price seesaws

The Binance-backed BNB token surged to a five-month peak, hitting nearly $270, before rapidly tanking to $240 in 30 minutes, according to CryptoSlate’s data.

The price performance follows reports of an impending settlement announcement by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) concerning the cryptocurrency exchange today, Nov. 21.

According to a statement released earlier today, the U.S. government key officials, including Attorney General Merrick Garland, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chair Rostin Behnam, are scheduled to address a press conference later today.

The officials will “announce separate but related cryptocurrency enforcement actions” at the conference, including a settlement with Binance, Bloomberg reported.

In response to the news, BNB’s price soared to $269.92 on the 1-hour candle, marking its highest level since June, coinciding with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) legal actions alleging federal securities law violations from the Changpeng Zhao-led crypto company.

Despite the recent price surge, BNB’s value was 61% below its all-time high of $686 recorded during the crypto market bull run of 2021. The price has since retraced.

On Nov. 20, CryptoSlate reported that the DOJ was aiming for a settlement that could exceed $4 billion from Binance to resolve allegations of criminal activities, including money laundering, bank fraud, and sanctions violations. Additionally, the report hinted at the potential for CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao to face criminal charges.

Binance is the largest crypto exchange by trading volume, controlling more than 50% of the market, according to CCData.

However, FTX last year’s collapse brought renewed attention to the exchange, as its regulatory struggles across multiple jurisdictions, including the U.K., Nigeria, and several European countries, came to the fore.

Blockchain analytical Kaiko noted that these developments had impacted the firm’s average daily trade volume, falling below $10 billion daily throughout the past year.

Binance did not immediately respond to CryptoSlate’s request for comment.

23 thoughts on “WSJ reports CZ stepping down as BNB token whipsaws with Binance near DOJ settlement deal”
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