Bankman-Fried has been charged with fraud by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allegedly misleading investors about the state of the company’s finances. Three of his closest colleagues have already pleaded guilty and are cooperating with the SEC. If convicted, Bankman-Fried faces more than 100 years in prison.
Zhao has vehemently denied the allegations. Binance is also under investigation by the US Department of Justice for alleged criminal sanctions violations. Zhao has kept a tight grip on Binance from its earliest days, as a powerful leader committed to secrecy and focused on market domination.
Binance CEO Zhao is known for being a proponent of the Signal messaging app, which prioritizes privacy with its auto-delete function. Zhao frequently uses Signal to communicate with Binance subordinates and other contacts. Additionally, he maintains a high level of secrecy around Binance’s finances, with the core of the business not being publicly disclosed. This approach is intentional to maintain a competitive advantage for Binance in the market.
Binance, founded in Shanghai in 2017, became the world’s biggest crypto exchange within six months of launching and now accounts for about 60% of global crypto trading volumes. Zhao has crisscrossed the globe in his quest for success, working in Tokyo and New York before embracing crypto and founding Binance.
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