Binance marks 200m global users in spite of leadership change, fines and setbacks

Binance marks 200m global users in spite of leadership change, fines and setbacks
Snapshot
Binance CEO Richard Teng inherited a job with abundant problems. Credit: Darren Joseph
  • The world's biggest crypto exchange reached 200 million users.
  • Binance has endured a change at the top, a record fine and numerous problems.
  • Still, the company said in March it was holding $100m in user funds.

Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange, said in a post on X that it had reached 200 million global users, despite a leadership change, paying a record fine to US regulators, and other more recent issues.

At the end of 2023, the exchange said it had added 40 million users to bring its total to 170 million, which means that it has gained about 30 million in the first half of this year. “Your support is the heartbeat of our journey to 1 billion users,” the celebratory post said.

“In 2023, reaching settlements with U.S. regulators, we took responsibility for our past conduct and opened a new chapter in Binance’s history. ... The scrutiny has helped create the comprehensive compliance program we have today,” the company said in a year-end blog post.

In November, Binance pleaded guilty to anti-money laundering violations, unlicensed money transmitting, and sanctions violations and paid $4.3 billion in fines and restitution. It was one of the largest payments the Justice Department had ever received from a corporation, Attorney General Merrick Garland said at the time.

DL News reported that founder Changpeng Zhao struck a deal with prosecutors. He agreed to step down from his position as CEO, plead guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act, and pay a $50 million fine. He is now serving a four-month sentence at a low-security prison in California.

Zhao’s successor, CEO Richard Teng, pledged a new era of compliance was dawning for the exchange, but he has had to deal with lingering problems.

In March, officials in the Philippines blocked Binance after the exchange failed to obtain a licence following months of warnings.

Then Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency charged Binance with money laundering and tax evasion, charging two Binance executives with the same allegations and even imprisoning one.

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Still, the value of funds that Binance holds on behalf of its users exceeded $100 billion in March, according to a company blog post.

Crypto market movers

  • Bitcoin is down 0.26% today at $67,331.87.
  • Ethereum is down 0.42% today at $3,688.62.

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