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Binance Founder CZ Gains 30k Votes in Onchain Poll on AlphaorBeta

In a strong show of unity, more than 30,000 users are backing Binance founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ) through an online opinion poll on AlphaorBeta.

The Opinion Labs poll aimed to determine if CZ’s positive influence on the crypto industry outweighs his previous regulatory issues. In just one day, the poll saw a significant turnout from influential figures and regular users, showing that the crypto community supports CZ.

Crypto community rallies behind CZ

81% of poll participants believe CZ’s positive impact on the crypto sector outweighs his past regulatory challenges. This robust support underscores CZ’s crucial role in the crypto universe and acknowledges his efforts.

Well-known names in cryptocurrency like Ash Crypto, Pushpendra, and Crypto Rand are publicly backing CZ. Furthermore, there’s a grassroots campaign on Twitter labeled #JusticeForCZ #JusticeForCrypto, which underscores the community’s push for fair regulatory practices

The significant backing CZ received is reflected in the 161 letters presented to the judge. This symbolizes the crypto community’s clear position on his sentencing.

The legal issues CZ faces are not just about him. They could change the way US law sees and handles the cryptocurrency industry. This could, in turn, affect how major industry players such as Uniswap, Ripple, and Tornado Cash deal with their legal issues.

The crypto industry strongly believes in the importance of clear guidelines and fair treatment. CZ’s case shows just how critical it is to have fair regulations that allow the industry to grow and create new things.

Changpeng zhao’s verdict

On Tuesday, Changpeng Zhao received a four-month prison sentence. He had confessed to money laundering charges last year. This verdict, delivered by a US federal court in Seattle, is significantly less than the three-year sentence that prosecutors were seeking.

Before the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, CZ, as Zhao is commonly known, expressed deep regret for his actions during his tenure as the CEO of Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange that he founded in 2017. He conveyed to the judge that he could not fully articulate the depth of his regret for the choices that led him to court. He reaffirmed his promise that such a circumstance would never occur again.

Last fall, Binance confessed to several offenses such as anti-money laundering activities, unlicensed money transmission, and sanctions violations. As part of a joint settlement with the federal government, they consented to pay over $4 billion in penalties and fines.

Zhao, 47 years old and worth nearly $40 billion according to Bloomberg, agreed to resign as CEO and pay fines of $200 million.

After a long inquiry, US officials declared in November that Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange, did not adequately supervise its platform. As a result, it permitted transactions linked to child exploitation, drug trafficking, and terrorism financing.

Furthermore, it was found that Binance’s operations lacked the necessary protocols for detecting or flagging transactions with potential money-laundering risks.

Employees on the platform displayed a clear comprehension of the fact that such inadequacies could potentially attract a criminal presence. Court documents even highlight a suggestive reminder by a Binance compliance staff member that the platform could practically advertise itself as a haven for these criminal activities.

Zhao’s sentencing happened just a month after his competitor, Sam Bankman-Fried, got a 25-year term in a U.S. federal prison. Bankman-Fried’s crime was his involvement in a long-running, multibillion-dollar scam via FTX. FTX was the second biggest crypto exchange until it fell apart unexpectedly in late 2022.

The Department of Justice is getting strict with financial crimes, especially in the crypto sector. People involved in cryptocurrencies are making an effort to improve its reputation, as they try to move away from the earlier image of being a facilitator for criminals into something more mainstream.

Critics of the crypto industry, which is worth around $2 trillion, often express suspicion and argue that the Department of Justice has been lax in regulating it. Dennis Kelleher, CEO of the nonprofit Better Markets, claimed that the Justice Department’s actions today suggest that crime is profitable.

He went on to express his shock, pointing out that CZ wasn’t even charged with money laundering. Instead, he faced charges for the lack of an anti-money laundering program, a consequence which Kelleher deems as hardly severe or punitive.