Here’s what happened in crypto today


Changpeng Zhao will step down as CEO of Binance as part of a plea deal with the United States Department of Justice. Binance transferred $3.9 billion in Tether (USDT) between its wallets days before a report about its $4 billion settlement with twas published. Meanwhile, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sued Kraken, alleging it violated several securities laws, and Sam Altman and Greg Brockman will join Microsoft after the former’s ousting from OpenAI.

CZ pleads guilty

Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, will plead guilty to violating U.S. Anti-Money Laundering requirements, according to various reports and court documents that were unsealed on Nov. 21.

As part of his plea deal, CZ will step down as CEO of the crypto exchange but will be allowed to retain his majority stake. Under the agreement, CZ will be barred from serving any executive function at Binance moving forward. 

However, reports indicated that CZ’s plea deal doesn’t affect pending litigation with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which brought separate charges against Binance in June. 

Binance will pay $4.3 billion in settlement funds, which will be applied to the ongoing case against it by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and outstanding claims from the Treasury Department. 

Binance’s $3.9 billion USDT move gains community attention amid DOJ settlement claims

Crypto community members on X (formerly Twitter) have turned their focus to a $3.9 billion Tether transaction between Binance wallets that surfaced on social media following reports claiming the DOJ is negotiating a $4 billion settlement with the company. 

On Nov. 20, a Bloomberg report citing anonymous sources said the DOJ is negotiating an agreement with the crypto exchange, which would require the company to pay $4 billion in fines.

On Nov. 9, Binance transferred $3.9 billion in USDT from its wallet called “Binance-Cold 2” on Tron to its wallet labeled “Binance 3.” After the transfer, 300 million USDT was transferred to another wallet, leaving around $3.6 billion in “Binance 3.”

Following the report on the negotiations between the exchange and the DOJ, various accounts on social media started speculating about the $3.9 billion transfer.

Some raised questions about the funds, inquiring about where the money came from and if it was in preparation to pay the fines. With the transfer and the DOJ report being very close to each other, some X users are trying to connect the dots and figure out if there are any connections between the two.

SEC sues Kraken, alleging slate of securities law violations

The SEC has sued Kraken, claiming it commingled customer funds and failed to register as a securities exchange, broker, dealer and clearing agency.

In a 90-page complaint, the SEC claimed Kraken operated as a platform that unlawfully facilitated the trading of cryptocurrencies since 2018 and alleged Kraken’s business practices and “deficient” internal controls saw the exchange commingle up to $33 billion worth of customer assets with its own. The SEC said this resulted in a “significant risk of loss” for its clients.

A Kraken spokesperson denied it listed unregistered securities and described the lawsuit as “disappointing,” saying the exchange would defend its position in court.

The SEC also listed 16 cryptocurrencies it considered securities, including Cardano (ADA), Polygon (MATIC) and Solana (SOL).

In February, Kraken reached a $30 million settlement with the SEC, agreeing to cease offering crypto staking products and services to U.S. customers.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.