Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, reportedly gave some of its top traders a glimpse into the company's future during a private dinner in September.
This elite group, which was attending a conference in Singapore, was subtly informed about the impending legal settlement that Binance would later make with U.S. authorities, according to a Bloomberg report.
The settlement, a hefty $4.3 billion fine, is a significant moment in the crypto industry's history.
At the heart of the matter was Changpeng Zhao, commonly known as "CZ," the charismatic CEO of Binance. Unbeknownst to many, Zhao's absence from the dinner hinted at his upcoming exit from the company.
This speculation was confirmed two months later when Zhao pled guilty to criminal charges in a Seattle courtroom, leading to his resignation.
The settlement and Zhao's departure marked a pivotal shift in Binance's journey, one that began in 2017 and saw the company rapidly rise to prominence in the volatile world of cryptocurrency.
Binance's legal challenges
The legal troubles of Binance extend beyond the recent settlement. The company, which initially thrived in China, faced a crackdown on crypto and subsequently relocated its operations to various countries. Despite claiming to have no formal headquarters, Binance's legal woes have been a topic of investigation since 2018 by U.S. authorities.
The recent settlement, however, does not include the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which continues its case against Binance for alleged mishandling of customer funds and illegal access by Americans to the platform.