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Ex-Binance CEO Zhao: ‘I Made Mistakes’

Binance’s outgoing CEO says resigning from the cryptocurrency exchange was the right move.

After agreeing to resign Tuesday (Nov. 21) as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors, Changpeng Zhao took to Twitter/X to pen a farewell.

“I made mistakes, and I must take responsibility. This is best for our community, for Binance, and for myself,” he wrote.

“Binance is no longer a baby. It is time for me to let it walk and run. I know Binance will continue to grow and excel with the deep bench it has,” he added.

Zhao agreed Tuesday to resign from the company — the world’s largest crypto exchange — and plead guilty to violating criminal U.S. anti-money laundering requirements.

That’s part of a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that also includes Binance pleading guilty to a criminal charge and paying fines totaling $4.3 billion, a move designed to resolve long-running investigations into the exchange.

On its blog, Binance said Richard Teng, formerly the company’s global head of regional markets, succeeded Zhao as chief executive.

Binance added it reached resolutions with the DOJ, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Office of Foreign Assets Control and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network regarding their probes into registration, compliance and sanctions issues.

The company said the agencies do not allege that Binance misappropriated any user funds nor that it committed market manipulation. However, the company acknowledged that it did not have proper compliance measures in place when it launched.

“Binance grew at an extremely fast pace globally, in a new and evolving industry that was in the early stages of regulation, and Binance made misguided decisions along the way,” the company said in the post. “Today, Binance takes responsibility for this past chapter.”

Zhao praised his successor on X Tuesday.

“Richard is a highly qualified leader and, with over three decades of financial services and regulatory experience, he will navigate the company through its next period of growth,” he wrote. “He will ensure Binance delivers on our next phase of security, transparency, compliance, and growth.”

Before Binance, Teng was CEO of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority at Abu Dhabi Global Market, chief regulatory officer of the Singapore Exchange and director of corporate finance for the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

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