Crypto

Changpeng Zhao steps down as Binance.US chair


Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the former CEO of major cryptocurrency exchange Binance, will also step down from his position as chair of the board of directors for the United States-based exchange Binance.US.

In a Nov. 28 X (formerly Twitter) post, Binance.US reminded users the exchange was not a party to the $4.3-billion settlement between U.S. officials, Binance and CZ announced on Nov. 21. However, Zhao agreed to step down as chair and “will no longer be involved” in the governance of Binance.US, transferring his voting rights through a proxy.

“We are exceptionally grateful to CZ for his guidance and counsel over the years,” said the exchange. “Binance.US continues to be led by Norman Reed and our existing, experienced management team.”

At the time of publication, Zhao had not publicly commented on his decision to step down. His last reply on X said he had “a lot more free time” since resigning as Binance CEO.

Related: Binance CEO outlines plan for crypto exchange after CZ steps down

On Nov. 21, Zhao pleaded guilty to one felony count for failure to maintain an effective Anti-Money Laundering program during his time as Binance CEO. The court is currently weighing whether CZ will be allowed to travel to the United Arab Emirates while awaiting sentencing. The former Binance CEO could face up to 18 months in prison.

Binance.US, while not a party to the settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, faces a lawsuit filed in June by the Securities and Exchange Commission against the crypto exchange, Binance and CZ. The commission was reportedly investigating whether Binance.US had a backdoor to control user assets — similar to what happened at FTX.

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