Binance Holdings, the world’s largest crypto exchange, is on the brink of a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department. The settlement, amounting to more than $4 billion, comes after a years-long investigation.
Legal troubles since 2018
Binance has been under the scrutiny of the Justice Department since 2018. The crypto exchange has faced various legal and regulatory challenges.
The investigation intensified in December 2020 when federal prosecutors requested internal records of the exchange. They wanted to assess the exchange’s anti-money laundering efforts and communications involving its founder, Changpeng Zhao.
In June, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took legal action against Binance and Zhao. It accused them of operating an “elaborate scheme to evade U.S. federal securities laws.” Binance firmly denied all allegations and vowed to strongly defend its platform.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) also filed a lawsuit in March against Binance. It alleged that Binance willingly evaded U.S. commodities law. The CFTC claimed that Binance and Zhao ran an “illegal” exchange and operated a “sham” compliance program.
As the legal battles brewed, Binance witnessed a many of its executives leaving. At least a dozen key figures left the exchange in recent months. Its market share also slumped as crypto markets remain dimmed compared to the highs of 2021.
Settlement finalized for $4 billion
Bloomberg analyst James Seyyfart just revealed a looming announcement of the Binance settlement. It is now pegged exactly at approximately $4 billion.
The U.S. Attorney General, Merrick Garland, is expected to hold a press conference to unveil “separate but related cryptocurrency enforcement actions,” that will involve the settlement with Binance.
Following the news, Binance Coin (BNB) experienced a notable uptick. It surged almost 8% since the announcement to now settle (as of writing) around $264.85. Investors and the crypto community are closely watching as the settlement can have far-reaching implications for the sector.
The Justice Department’s investigation into Binance reaches its conclusion, the awaited settlement is poised to reshape the landscape of cryptocurrency regulation. The press conference by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is anticipated to provide further details on this settlement.