Crypto markets were subjected to a heavy dose of volatility on Nov. 21 as the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and U.S. Treasury announced a $4.3-billion settlement with Binance and that former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao will plead guilty to one felony charge as part of a settlement over criminal and civil cases with the cryptocurrency exchange.
United States Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the DOJ reached a $4.3 billion resolution with Binance and CZ. The agreement required CZ to plead guilty to willfully violating the Bank Secrecy Act.
In addition to the financial penalties, Garland stated,
“Moving forward, Binance must file the suspicious activity reports that were required by law. The company is required to review past transactions and report suspicious activity to federal authorities. This will advance our criminal investigations into malicious cyber activity and terrorism fundraising, including the use of cryptocurrency exchanges to support groups such as Hamas.”
At the time of publishing, price action within the crypto market continues to fluctuate, with Bitcoin (BTC) registering a 1.79% loss as it trades near $36,700 and altcoins reflect a slight recovery from their intraday losses.
The whipsaw price action within the market reflects market participants’ attempt to digest the details of the Nov. 21 U.S. enforcement action against the cryptocurrency industry.
While the crypto market doesn’t have an opening bell like Wall Street, market participants and traders were broadly aware of the settlement, and prices had already reacted before the press conference by Garland, with Binance Coin (BNB) whipsawing to a 5-month high before retracing the majority of its gains and before the press conference even occurred.
Despite the negative news regarding Binance, the exchanges’ users are not rushing to exit the platform or from centralized exchanges in general. According to Glassnode, the net Bitcoin position change on Binance is far below January and July numbers.
Despite the negative reporting, the crypto community is cheering on the decision as closing a chapter and hopeful that the entire industry can move forward in a positive manner.
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