At the time of publishing, price action within the crypto market continues to fluctuate, with Bitcoin
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.”
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
whipsawing to a 5-month high before retracing the majority of its gains and before the press conference even occurred.
Related: BNB price pops, then drops, following news of DOJ-Binance settlement
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.
Binance exchange, which named Richard Teng CEO on Nov. 21 following CZ’s resignation, reiterated the crypto community sentiment on moving forward.
Brian Armstrong, CEO of crypto exchange Coinbase, thinks that his company made the right decision to comply with United States money transmitter licensing laws.
In a Nov. 21 social media post, Armstrong weighed in on the news that rival exchange Binance is pleading guilty to criminal charges, stating that he is glad his own exchange decided to obtain money transmitter licenses, even though it put the company at a competitive disadvantage.
“I knew we needed to embrace compliance to become a generational company that stood the test of time,” Armstrong stated, adding that his team “got the licenses, hired the compliance and legal teams, and made it clear our brand was […] following the rules.”
Armstrong acknowledged that his team’s compliance strategy slowed the company’s growth, stating that “we couldn’t always move as quickly as others,” as it’s “more difficult and expensive to take a compliant approach.” However, Armstrong claimed his team’s approach was correct because “we believe in the rule of law.”
Related: SEC raises concerns over Coinbase in objection to Celsius restructuring plan
Armstrong also took aim at what he sees as a lack of regulatory clarity in the U.S., which he claims is pushing users to offshore exchanges like Binance. “Americans should not have to go to offshore unregulated exchanges to benefit from this technology,” he stated. However, he also struck a positive tone, claiming that the resolution of the U.S. criminal case against Binance may finally be the “catalyst” for more regulatory clarity.
Armstrong has claimed that U.S. regulations lack clarity and have driven “95%” of crypto transactions offshore. The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed suit against Coinbase for allegedly violating U.S. securities laws. However, these claims aren’t related to violations of the Bank Secrecy Act or money transmitter licensing issues.
On Nov. 21, the Department of Justice announced that Binance has agreed to plead guilty to violations of the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act and to serving U.S. customers without obtaining the proper money transmitter licenses.