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Binance Co-Founder Says Former CEO CZ Is in a ‘Positive Situation’ Ahead of Sentencing

Hassan Shittu
Last updated: | 2 min read
Binance co-founder He Yi discusses former CEO Binance CZ's legal situation and the company's future at a Dubai event.
Binance co-founder He Yi expressed optimism about former CEO Binance CZ's legal situation and the exchange's future at a Dubai event.

Binance co-founder He Yi provided insights into Changpeng Zhao’s (CZ) legal situation at a Dubai event on April 19, expressing optimism despite his upcoming sentencing in the United States.

This follows CZ’s plea deal, which resulted in his departure from Binance and the company’s substantial $4.3 billion forfeiture.

While there’s potential for a sentence of up to 10 years, sentencing guidelines suggest a more probable term of 12 to 18 months, with the final verdict expected on April 30.

Binance Co-Founder Discusses Regulatory Confidence

Yi also addressed broader implications for Binance’s regulatory stance, emphasizing the company must take a proactive approach to fight the constant threat of regulators.

Binance Co-Founder Says Former CEO CZ Is in a 'Positive Situation' Ahead of Sentencing
Binance Co-Founder Says Former CEO CZ Is in a ‘Positive Situation.’ Source: Binance

Binance recently obtained its highly anticipated crypto license in Dubai, allowing the cryptocurrency exchange to operate in the country.

The final requirement for the Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license granted by the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) was that CZ relinquish his voting power in Binance FZE, the exchange’s Dubai-based unit.

In November 2023, Binance agreed to pay US authorities $4.3 billion as a settlement for violating the Bank Secrecy Act and failing to adhere to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) guidelines.

This settlement came after CZ pleaded guilty to violating US anti-money laundering regulations and resigned as CEO as part of the plea deal.

Following Zhao’s resignation, Richard Teng assumed leadership, ushering in a new strategic trajectory. Under Teng’s guidance, Binance has undergone restructuring, including establishing a newly formed board of directors and reinforcing its commitments to operational stability and regulatory compliance.

Yi also shed light on CZ’s personal life, clarifying their current relationship status. As the mother of some of CZ’s children, Yi emphasized that they are not romantic partners but good friends. 

Binance Progress in Spite Regulatory Tightness

Binance CEO Richard Teng also recently revealed that the exchange is currently discussing several jurisdictions for a new headquarters location. However, a final decision has yet to be made.

Binance is also reportedly considering a return to India’s market after being banned in late 2023, with plans to pay a penalty of approximately $2 million.

The potential re-entry hinges on registration with India’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and compliance with relevant legislation, including the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the country’s crypto taxation framework. 

Among its regulatory issues, Binance is also actively cooperating with Nigerian authorities following the detention of its head of financial crime compliance, Tigran Gambaryan, on accusations of laundering over $35 million.

Gambaryan’s situation and that of another Binance official facing similar charges highlight the exchange’s challenges in navigating regulatory environments across different jurisdictions.