The US Department of Justice has sought $4 billion from cryptocurrency exchange Binance in a deal that will end an ongoing criminal investigation. Bloomberg reports this.
According to the publication’s sources, negotiations between the parties suggest the possibility that the head of the trading platform, Changpeng Zhao, will be charged with money laundering, financial fraud and violation of sanctions.
The deal could be officially announced as early as the end of November, although the situation remains “unstable,” Bloomberg says.
“A settlement with a monitoring provision could be a compromise that protects investors and allows Binance to move in a more institutional direction,” said Matt Walsh, co-founder of Castle Island Ventures.
The agreement is aimed at achieving a balance that will allow Binance to continue operating rather than risk a business whose collapse could cause negative consequences for markets and cryptocurrency holders, according to people familiar with the matter.
As a result of the news, the price of the BNB token initially fell below $240, but then rose sharply to approximately $270. At the time of writing, the asset is trading at $259, having gained 2.8% per day.
June 5 SEC filed a lawsuit against Binance and Zhao, bringing forward 13 charges, including the sale of unregistered securities. On June 6, the regulator sent a request to freeze the digital assets of the American division of the exchange.
On June 9, users lost the ability to deposit dollars, which caused sales from those wishing to withdraw funds in fiat. Against this background, a discount has formed on the platform in Bitcoin quotes paired with the dollar – the figure reached ~$2200 (7.3%).
On June 17, the SEC and Binance entered into an agreement regarding client funds in the United States. The exchange resumed the withdrawal of assets, but the company warned that the situation could change.
As a reminder, according to an internal exchange presentation, Binance.US’ growth opportunities are limited due to the business’s ties to Zhao and the current regulatory environment.
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