Web Summit 2022 - Day One

Richard Teng, to succeed resigned Changpeng Zhao as CEO of Binance

Information completed on 22nd November at 01:30 am.

Richard Teng, to date Global Head of Regional Markets at Binance, has been named the new CEO of the company today. This has been announced by Changpeng Zhao on a tweet published on X this afternoon at 21:30 (Madrid hour).

Zhao says that he will remain available to Binance’s team to consult as needed but always in the framework set by US Government Agencies’ resolutions: “As a shareholder and former CEO with historical knowledge of our company, I will remain available to the team to consult as needed, consistent with the framework set out in our U.S. agency resolutions.”

Zhao pled guilty to Money Laundering Act infringement: He must step down and pay $50 million fine

The Founder and CEO of Binance inked an settlement agreement with the U.S. market watch institutions that had charged and sued the largest global cryptocurrency exchange.
According to the court papers filed before the US federal court in Seattle, Zhao agreed to plead guilty to money laundering violations.

As part of the guilty plea, Zhao agreed to personally pay a $50m fine, to step down from his role as CEO of the company, and to be barred from any involvement in the business.
The date for judge Brian A Tsuchida’s judgement delivery is set on February 23rd, but this may be delayed. Both sides agreed there would be no judgement delivery for at least six months.

Binance also pled guilty and will pay Billions of dollars to settle criminal procedures

As reported by The Guardian, Binance on its part “agreed to plead guilty, accept the appointment of a monitor and pay a criminal fine of nearly $1.81Bn as well as a $2.5Bn order of forfeiture to settle three criminal charges, including conducting an unlicensed money transmitting business, a conspiracy charge and violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act”.

Client’s funds are safe, assures Binance’s founder and the foundation on which the company stands today is stronger than ever, assures, Teng

At this point Zhao, still a shareholder of Binance, is eager to avoid spreading any kind of panic among investors and clients. “I am proud to point out,” Zhao added on his tweet , “that in our resolutions with the U.S. agencies they:

  • do not allege that Binance misappropriated any user funds, and
  • do not allege that Binance engaged in any market manipulation.

    Funds are SAFU!”
Richard Teng_Binance CEO_1000pix
Richard Teng (CEO, Binance). Image by courtesy of Binance.

In the same direction as Zhao, Richard Teng tries to clear any mistrust about the strength and sustainability of Binance on his Linkedin post accepting the appointment as CEO of the company: “It is an honour and with the deepest humility that I step into the role of Binance’s new CEO.

We operate the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume. The trust placed on us by our 150m users and thousands of employees is a responsibility that I take seriously and hold dear.

With CZ, and our leadership team’s support, I have accepted this role so that we can continue to meet and exceed the expectations of stakeholders while achieving our core mission, the freedom of money.

The foundation on which Binance stands today is stronger than ever.

To ensure a bright future, I intend to use everything I’ve learned over the past three decades of financial services and regulatory experience to guide our remarkable, innovative, and committed team.

My focus will be on:

1) reassuring users that they can remain confident in the financial strength, security and safety of the company

2) collaborating with regulators to uphold high standards globally that foster innovation while providing important consumer protections

3) working with partners to drive growth and adoption of Web3

We are here to stay. Please lend me your support. Excited for the days ahead!”

Binance’s scandal is another hard strike to the trust and mainstream adoption of crypto currencies and their trading markets. It comes after that of the bankruptcy of FTX, main rival of Zhao’s global cryptocurrency exchange.

In fact Zhao and Backman-Fried, the founder of FTX observed at first a friendly competition behavior. Binance even invested in FTX at its launch in 2019. But Zhao announced divestment in November 2022 and FTX filled bankrupcy just one year later.

After the trial before an US criminal court triggered against Backman by FTX bankruptcy, FTX’s founder is now waiting for judgement delivery in March 2024. Backman-Fried has been found guilty of wired fraud and may be sentenced to be inprisoned many years long.

Backman-Fried publicly acused Zhao of orchestrating an elaborated plan to cause FTX’s brancruptcy.
Binance and FTX scandals add to may other related to crypto currencies including FSA’s suspension of Bit Station and FSHO crypto currency exchanges in Japan in 2018.

Zhao’s plans for the future: Taking a brake, some passive investing in blockchain, Web3, DeFi and AI startups, and mentoring

Zhao unveiled some of his plans for a future never again leading a company: “What’s next for me?
I will take a break first. I have not had a single day of real (phone off) break for the last 6 and half years.

After that, my current thinking is I will probably do some passive investing, being a minority token/shareholder in startups in areas of blockchain/Web3/DeFi, AI and biotech. I am happy that I will finally have more time to spend looking at DeFi.

I can’t see myself being a CEO driving a startup again. I am content being an one-shot (lucky) entrepreneur. Should there be listeners, I may be open to being a coach/mentor to a small number of upcoming entrepreneurs, privately. If for nothing else, I can at least tell them what not to do.”

Image over the headline.- Changpeng Zhao. Image by Aevozer through Wikimedia Commons. To watch the original photo and read the terms of the lisense, click here

Related external links:

Changpeng Zhao’s tweet on X

Richard Teng post on Linkedin

U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission filling agains Binance (announcement)

U.S. Securities Exchange Commission charges against Binance(announcement)

Related Eastwind links (English edition):

End to the crypto wild west in the European Union?.- Agreement on EU regulation on crypto-assets reached between the Presidency of the Council and EU Parliament

IMF Georgieva.- Three points to take into account for digital currencies acting as economic booster rather than as an economic risk

Lagarde.- Crypto currencies bring advantages but also tulyp like bubble. Regulation is needed to avoid risks for financial stability

Bit Station and FSHO crypto currency exchanges suspended by FSA in Japan

Related Eastwind links (Spanish edition):

Sobre la ingeniería financiera Bitcoin de Tesla

Bitcoin.- La burbuja perdió el fuelle en 2018

La CNMV «ata corto» a Bitcoin y otras ICOs

La revalorización de Bitcoin divide a los «tuiteros económicos»

Hacienda controlará las cripto monedas

Related Eastwind Marketing links (Spanish edition):

Christine Lagarde.- El euro digital no sustituirá al dinero en efectivo y considerarlo un éxito no debería depender del número de transacciones, de usuarios o de la edad de quienes lo usen

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