The recent $4.3 billion settlement between Binance, its CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is largely being viewed as a positive development by the crypto community, with many expressing optimism that this could pave the way for the approval of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).
The settlement, which includes a plea deal with CZ requiring him to step down as the CEO of Binance, triggered a market correction. Approximately $175 million worth of leveraged crypto positions were liquidated, and nearly $1 billion in crypto assets flowed out of the exchange in response to the news.
Despite the immediate market impact, the majority of the crypto community sees the settlement and CZ’s departure as a significant win for Binance and the broader crypto industry. Some had previously speculated that the U.S. government’s pursuit of Binance could threaten the exchange’s dominance.
Many community members now view the Binance-DOJ settlement as a crucial step before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approves a spot Bitcoin ETF. This perspective suggests that the settlement removes a major obstacle and could act as a catalyst for the next bull run in the crypto market.
However, not everyone in the crypto community shares this optimistic view. Some individuals express caution, suggesting that the SEC may still take action against Binance, and the exchange could face a challenging battle if the agency refuses to settle.
It’s worth noting that the SEC lawsuit against Binance is civil, and analysts believe that the DOJ settlement removes a significant barrier for the crypto industry, potentially facilitating the launch of a bull market. Some community members draw parallels between Binance’s settlement and that of BitMEX, where the then-CEO Arthur Hayes pleaded guilty to violating Anti-Money Laundering laws and stepped down from his role. Hayes was later sentenced to two years of probation, avoiding a possible prison term.