Binance's Progress Challenged by CFTC Lawsuit
This week, Binance and Zhao faced a lawsuit from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), alleging that the exchange operated illegally. The lawsuit contradicts Binance's claims of progress in complying with global regulations and developing a strong security and compliance team.
CFTC Alleges Sham Compliance Program at Binance
The CFTC accuses Binance of running a "sham" compliance program, with Zhao allegedly instructing employees and customers to avoid compliance checks. Binance is also accused of growing and concealing its U.S. user base and failing to establish required money-laundering checks.
Binance's Response to U.S. Allegations
In response to the U.S. allegations, Zhao stated that the complaint contains an incomplete recitation of facts and disagrees with the characterization of many of the issues alleged. Binance is also under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for alleged criminal sanctions violations and money laundering.
Changpeng Zhao's Journey and Leadership Style
Born in China and moved to Canada in 1989, Zhao is known for his powerful leadership, commitment to secrecy, and focus on market domination. Binance became the world's largest crypto exchange within six months, accounting for around 60% of global crypto trading volumes.
Zhao's Tight Grip on Binance
Zhao has maintained tight control over Binance, installing a close circle of associates in top positions. While the company has hired from traditional financial and regulatory sectors, Zhao controls the business. The extent of Zhao's wealth is unclear, with Forbes estimating his fortune at $17.4 billion in September.