The crypto market experienced a surge of cautious optimism as reports emerged regarding the possible resolution of Binance’s longstanding US criminal investigation with the United States Department of Justice (DoJ).
Binance’s Reported Settlement
According to a recent report, the Justice Department is seeking more than $4 billion to bring the investigation to a close. Talks between Binance and the department allegedly involve the possibility of Binance’s founder and CEO, Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, facing US criminal charges. Despite the potential legal repercussions, the report claims that a settlement could be reached as early as the end of this month.
The mere mention of a potential end to the investigation had an immediate impact on the digital-asset markets. Binance Coin (BNB), the native crypto of the Binance ecosystem, saw a surge in demand as traders and investors reacted positively to the news.
The coin, which is intricately tied to the success and operations of the Binance exchange, has been a focal point of market attention in recent times. The potential resolution of the US criminal probe signaled a positive turn of events for BNB holders.
Simultaneously, Bitcoin (BTC), the largest and most widely recognized cryptocurrency, which has historically been sensitive to regulatory news, responded positively to the prospect of a resolution in the Binance case. The broader market sentiment, often influenced by developments related to major exchanges like Binance, saw a renewed sense of confidence.
Notably, Bitcoin is currently trading at $37,342, representing a 0.34% increase in the last 24 hours. BNB, on the other hand, is currently trading at $259, reflecting a 4.4% increase in the last 24 hours.
Origin of the DOJ Investigation into Binance
The DoJ’s investigation into Binance began in 2018 after the exchange was allegedly used by criminals to transfer illicit funds. The investigations involve key Binance executives, including CEO CZ. The Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington in Seattle, and the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team are all involved in the investigation.
At the time, reports revealed that members of the Justice Department were divided over whether to proceed with the case. Some federal prosecutors argue that the existing charges were sufficient to challenge the firm, while others advocate for further investigations.
Meanwhile, Binance’s encounter with the Justice Department is not an isolated incident. The exchange and its founder have faced multiple investigations from various US agencies throughout the year, including the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). These investigations have raised concerns about compliance with regulatory standards within the crypto industry.
The potential resolution of the US criminal investigation into Binance marks a critical juncture for the crypto industry. If Binance agrees to the proposed fine, it would represent one of the largest settlements in the history of the crypto market.
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