In a groundbreaking development, the US government has revealed that Binance, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, allowed terrorist organizations such as ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Hamas to execute transactions through its platform. This information emerged as part of a $4.3 billion settlement announced today, marking the end of a years-long investigation into the exchange.
Reports highlight that Binance's compliance chief, Justin Lim, had acknowledged the exchange's role in funding Hamas back in 2019. Lim reportedly stated that Hamas would send funds in "small sums" through the platform. These illicit transactions played a significant role in the hefty settlement imposed on Binance.
As a consequence of the investigation, Binance's long-time CEO, Changpeng Zhao, has resigned from his position. Zhao pleaded guilty to the violation of criminal anti-money laundering requirements, leading to a cosmic shift in the organization's leadership. Although Zhao is permitted to maintain majority ownership, he is now barred from holding an executive position within the company.
In addition to the settlement, the US government has filed criminal charges against Binance, including conspiracy, conducting an unlicensed money-transmitting business, and violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. US Attorney General Merrick Garland addressed the development in a press conference, underlining the severity of the findings and the legal actions taken against the cryptocurrency exchange.