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Binance Faces Prosecutors’ Call for 5-Year Oversight and Potential $4.3 Billion Penalty

U.S. prosecutors are pushing for rigorous oversight of Binance, the cryptocurrency exchange, proposing a monitoring period of up to five years. This demand comes in the wake of Binance’s admission of breaching U.S. anti-money laundering laws and sanctions regulations, for which they have agreed to a hefty penalty potentially amounting to $4.3 billion.

According to a report by Bloomberg, prosecutors outlined these accountability measures in a sentencing memo presented to a federal judge in Seattle. The aim is to ensure Binance’s compliance with legal standards, not only for the exchange itself but also for the broader cryptocurrency industry.

Binance’s acknowledgment of facilitating transactions for recognized terrorist organizations such as Hamas has heightened the severity of the situation, prompting prosecutors to advocate for substantial repercussions, including a significant financial penalty and an extended oversight period of up to five years.

During the proceedings, it was revealed that Binance lacked registration as a money services business, a crucial requirement for platforms involved in currency transactions and conversions. Prosecutors also highlighted the exchange’s deficient anti-money laundering program, which they argued exposed the platform and the wider American financial system to potential exploitation by malicious actors.

Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, who confessed to the anti-money laundering allegations, awaits sentencing, which has been postponed from February to late April by the Seattle federal court. While Zhao could face up to 10 years in prison under U.S. law, the prosecution memorandum suggests a possible 18-month sentence.

Speculation abounds regarding the implications of this delay and Zhao’s future, particularly given his substantial personal wealth increase of nearly $25 billion in the same year the charges were brought against him. Zhao’s attorney, William Burck, has remained silent on the matter.

With new CEO Richard Teng at the helm, Binance finds itself at a critical juncture, tasked with rebuilding trust among its clientele and regulators while preventing mass customer exodus amid these turbulent times. The effectiveness of its efforts to enhance compliance will undoubtedly impact the broader cryptocurrency market.

Despite these challenges, Binance’s native token BNB has demonstrated resilience. CoinGecko data shows significant gains for BNB over the past week and fortnight, with a 10% increase in price over seven days and a 16.1% growth over 14 days. In the last 24 hours, BNB saw a more modest 0.6% increase, accompanied by a trading volume of $741,625,299.

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