Binance CEO Cancels UAE Crypto License Amid Restructuring
Binance, a major player in the cryptocurrency exchange market, recently made headlines with its Abu Dhabi unit retracting an application from the Emirate’s financial watchdog. This decision, according to a Binance spokesperson, is based on a reassessment of the company’s global licensing needs and is not connected to their recent settlement in the United States.
U.S. Settlement and Management Changes
In November, Binance resolved a legal dispute with U.S. authorities, agreeing to a $4.3 billion penalty. Changpeng Zhao, commonly known as “CZ”, admitted guilt to a felony charge related to failing to implement an effective Anti-Money Laundering program, a violation of the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act. Following this, Zhao stepped down as CEO, making way for Richard Teng, the former head of regional markets. Teng emphasized that post-settlement, Binance has undergone significant changes.
Despite withdrawing the Abu Dhabi application, Binance Limited maintains the right to offer crypto custody services in the Abu Dhabi Global Market. The company has expressed its commitment to continue cooperating with global regulators and has plans to expand in various regions, including Dubai.
Following the U.S. agreement, Zhao, currently on bail, awaits a court decision on a motion that might allow him to return to his family in the United Arab Emirates. The former CEO faces potential imprisonment of up to 18 months, with his sentencing scheduled for February.