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VIP Binance Traders Reportedly Heard of DOJ Settlement in September

Julia Smith
Last updated: | 2 min read

A number of Binance’s top traders were given exclusive details regarding the crypto exchange’s yet-to-be-announced settlement deal with the U.S. Department of Justice in September, according to a new report.

An exclusive dinner

According to the report published by Bloomberg, a number of Binance’s VIP trades met at a members-only club in Singapore called 1880 for an exclusive dinner. Richard Teng, then head of regional markets for Binance and its current CEO, was among the dinner guests. However, former CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, was nowhere in sight.

As the conversation unfolded through the night, guests began discussing the future of the crypto exchange, in particular, whether or not the company would be charged and pay off an estimated $4 billion potential penalty from the Department of Justice.

“After conversations with company representatives present at the dinner, some VIP guests were left convinced that the firm would pay that sum — an amount Binance could easily afford,” the report reads.

While the company stated the depictions of the night were “inaccurate,” Teng’s own X account appears to confirm his own presence in Singapore at that time for the Token 2049 Conference, with a tweet from the CEO stating he was “glad to be speaking” at the event.

A legal saga

The revelation suggesting Binance’s top traders had an understanding of the crypto exchange’s forthcoming deal with the Department of Justice is the latest news regarding Binance’s legal saga.

Last month, Zhao pleaded guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act, failing to register Binance as a money-transmitting business, and violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

A Dubai resident, Zhao has been ordered to stay in the U.S. until his sentencing on February 24th, 2024. While it’s been widely reported that Zhao may be facing at most 12-18 months in prison, his maximum possible sentence overall is 10 years.

Binance was ultimately fined $4.3 billion and has been required to make a “complete exit” from the U.S. market. Moreover, the crypto exchange must follow strict monitoring and reporting guidelines set out by the Department of Justice.

The future of Binance

Meanwhile, the company is running full steam ahead under Teng’s guidance. On Thursday, Binance announced the world’s first cryptocurrency triparty banking agreement that would allow customers of the exchange the opportunity to hold their collateral in third-party banks.

“This arrangement directly tackles the issue of counterparty risk, the primary concern for institutional investors today,” read a press release from the company. “It replicates a framework common in traditional financial markets, which enables investors to proportion their crypto-asset allocation based on their risk tolerance.”

In a blog post on Binance’s website written by Teng earlier this week, the company’s CEO highlighted what’s next for the crypto exchange.

“As we usher in the next phase of Binance’s responsible growth, I am excited for the opportunity to engage in a meaningful conversation with global policymakers, to ensure crypto investors remain confident in the industry’s future, and to engage and educate the next billion users so that we may work to ensure the long-term sustainability of crypto,” wrote Teng.