Crypto market jumps amid possible end to U.S. criminal probe of Binance

Crypto markets received support from news of a possible settlement of the Binance case with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Sources familiar with the matter said talks between the U.S. Justice Department and Binance include the possibility that its founder Changpeng Zhao would face criminal charges in the U.S. under an agreement to conclude an investigation into alleged money laundering, bank fraud and sanctions violations.

As a result, Binance’s naive token, BNB, rose 8.5% to $266.42 after the Bloomberg report was published on Nov. 20. At the time of writing, the token is being traded at $259, having increased in price by 4.6% over the last 24 hours.

However, the exact timing and structure of the proposed resolution, as well as the specific charges, were not specified. At the same time, Binance is expected to pay more than $4 billion in potential settlement fees, which would be one of the largest fines in the history of criminal cryptocurrency cases.

 “A settlement with a monitoring provision in place could be a compromise that protects investors and allows Binance the option to evolve into a more institutional and compliant future direction.” 

Matt Walsh, founding partner at crypto venture firm Castle Island Ventures

Meanwhile, trading volumes in the cryptocurrency market have increased sharply on the heels of the latest news. Over the past 24 hours, trading volumes reached $55b, an increase of 37%. However, the prices of the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization showed virtually no reaction to the changes, with the exception of BNB.

On June 5, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Binance and Zhao, bringing 13 charges, including the sale of unregistered securities. On June 6, the regulator sent a request to freeze the digital assets of the American division of the exchange. A few days later users lost the ability to deposit dollars, which caused sales from those wishing to withdraw funds in fiat.

On June 17, the SEC and Binance entered into an agreement regarding client funds in the U.S. The exchange resumed the withdrawal of assets, but the company warned that the situation could change.

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