Sentenced Binance Founder Will Remain Passive Crypto Investor

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Key Takeaways

  • Changpeng Zhao, founder and ex-CEO of Binance, was sentenced to four months in prison for overlooking money laundering on his platform.
  • Despite legal issues, Zhao maintains a $33 billion fortune.
  • He expressed gratitude and future educational focus in a recent post on X.

Despite a four-month prison sentence, Zhao remains a key figure in the crypto world, emphasizing a shift towards education and passive investment.

Changpeng Zhao, the founder and ex-CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has been sentenced to four months in prison.

He was found guilty of ignoring money laundering activities on the platform. The sentencing occurred on April 30 in a federal district court in Washington.

However, despite the legal troubles, Zhao remains a significant figure in the crypto world, with a fortune estimated at $33 billion, according to Forbes magazine. His influence in the crypto community is evident in his post on X on May 1, which continues to generate significant engagement.

In the post, Zhao expressed his gratitude for the support he has received.

“I would like to thank everyone for your care and support, be it writing letters, showing support on X, or in any other form. They all mean a lot to me and keep me strong. I will do my time, conclude this phase and focus on the next chapter of my life (education),” he wrote.

Zhao also stated that he would remain a passive investor in crypto and emphasized the importance of compliance in the industry.

“Our industry has entered a new phase. Compliance is super important,” he added.

US vs. Changpeng Zhao

Zhao, commonly known as “CZ” on X, pleaded guilty to violating US money laundering laws. The charges were related to allowing criminals to launder money on his platform. This violation led to his resignation from Binance last November.

Binance was ordered to pay $4.3 billion after a US investigation found it helped users bypass sanctions. The US officials also said in November that Binance and Zhao’s “wilful failures allowed money to flow to terrorists, cybercriminals, and child abusers through its platform.”

US Department of Justice prosecutors had initially sought a three-year sentence for Zhao, arguing that Binance prioritized growth and profits over compliance with US laws and regulations.

However, Judge Richard rejected a 3-year ban because there was insufficient evidence that the Binance founder knew about specific illegal activities perpetrated on the crypto exchange.

This case reminds crypto platforms of the need to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations in their countries as global scrutiny intensifies.