The crypto community is abuzz following the news of Binance’s $4 billion settlement deal with the Department of Justice (DOJ), coupled with the resignation of its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, widely known as CZ.
The DOJ, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the U.S. Treasury’s joint announcement on November 21 revealed this historic resolution. Within this hefty settlement, CZ’s guilty plea to a felony charge, acknowledging violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, underscores the gravity of the situation.
United States Attorney General Merrick Garland’s directives add another layer to this unfolding saga, mandating stringent compliance measures for Binance’s future operations.
These revelations, CZ’s resignation and the intensifying scrutiny into past and potential irregularities have sparked a flurry of reactions and discussions within the cryptocurrency community on X (formerly Twitter).
Crypto community reaction on CZ’s exit: “The man is a hero.”
CZ addressed his 8.7 million followers on X to announce his resignation as CEO of Binance. He opened his statement with:
“Today, I stepped down as CEO of Binance. Admittedly, it was not easy to let go emotionally. But I know it is the right thing to do. I made mistakes, and I must take responsibility. This is best for our community, for Binance, and for myself.”
After the announcement, diverse sentiments swept through the crypto community. Some individuals were surprised and worried, while others commended CZ for assuming responsibility and placing the community’s needs at the forefront.
Ki Young Ju, CEO of the South Korean on-chain analytics platform CryptoQuant, lauded Zhao as an entrepreneur, acknowledging his pivotal role in accelerating global cryptocurrency adoption. According to Ju, CZ’s initiatives significantly contributed to encouraging people to purchase Bitcoin and other digital currencies. He finished his post with:
“Hope he can get some rest and gear up for a new leap.”
Aaron and Austin, the hosts of the Altcoin Daily YouTube channel, praised CZ’s actions, deeming them heroic and commendable. They shared on X that:
“CZ tried to save people from FTX and even helped bring SBF to justice. He is now sacrificing himself to save Binance crypto exchange and probably the whole bitcoin bull run. The man is a hero.”
Lady of Crypto shared thoughts with her 427,700 followers, highlighting CZ’s positive contributions to the industry despite the recent developments:
“But as far as actions go, CZ has been a net positive for crypto adoption and recognition. We would not be where we are without him. So for that, I am eternally grateful to the guy and I’m sad to see him go.”
Justin Sun, owner of crypto exchange Poloniex, expressed his feelings to his 3.4 million followers, highlighting CZ’s pivotal role in leading the community and the industry for nearly a decade.
“Over the past six years, you founded Binance, taking the industry to unprecedented heights. Without you, the cryptocurrency industry wouldn’t have reached the heights it has today.“
Richard Teng Replaces CZ as New Binance CEO
Changpeng Zhao announced on X that Richard Teng, formerly the Global Head of Regional Markets, will take over as Binance’s new CEO.
Teng expressed dedication, aiming to ensure user confidence and regulatory compliance and foster Web3 growth. He emphasized commitment to the exchange’s users and the team, striving for financial strength and innovation.
Previously CEO of Abu Dhabi Global Market’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority, Teng brings a solid regulatory background to Binance. He holds a Distinction in Applied Finance from the University of Western Australia and a First Class Bachelor of Accountancy from Nanyang Technological University.
Notable roles include Chief Regulatory Officer at the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Director of Corporate Finance at the Monetary Authority of Singapore.