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Regulatory Warning Prompts Ownership Transition at Binance France

ByDayne Lee

May 31, 2024
Regulatory Warning Prompts Ownership Transition at Binance France

Regulatory Warning Prompts Ownership Transition at Binance France

In a significant shift in its corporate structure, Binance France has introduced new shareholders who now hold complete and equal ownership of the company. This change was propelled by a directive from France’s Financial Markets Authority (AMF) after the regulator issued a warning to the cryptocurrency exchange in December.

The AMF’s intervention was a response to legal issues involving the original beneficial owner’s engagements with U.S. regulatory bodies. The problems stemmed from the interactions between Binance’s former CEO, Changpeng Zhao, and major U.S. regulatory authorities including the Justice Department, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

The Shift in Ownership

The catalyst for this ownership change was the AMF’s warning, which clarified that the regulatory scrutiny facing Zhao in the U.S. meant he could no longer maintain his ownership status at Binance France. Following this, Zhao stepped down from his role and disassociated from the company’s operations.

Zhao’s legal troubles in the United States culminated in a guilty plea to charges levied against him, leading to a four-month prison sentence, which he has yet to serve.

New Shareholders at the Helm

While Binance France has been discreet about the identities of its new owners, it has confirmed that they are both from the company’s original founding team. According to the Pappers information service, these individuals are Lihua He and Yulong Yan.

Yulong Yan, also known as Allan Yan, is noted in the Binance white paper as the company’s first product director and a co-founder of Bijie Tech. Bijie Tech, a venture established by Zhao prior to Binance, provided software solutions to cryptocurrency exchanges and was based in Shanghai before its closure in 2017. Conversely, Lihua He’s role and contributions remain less documented in available records.

Implications of the Ownership Change

The transition in ownership is likely to usher in new strategic directions for Binance France, as the new shareholders bring their distinct visions and operational philosophies to the forefront.

This change also signifies Binance France’s commitment to adhering to regulatory standards and enhancing its compliance framework to prevent future legal entanglements.

AMF WarningIssued in December, citing concerns over existing ownership’s legal issues.
Ownership ChangeNew shareholders, both founding team members, took complete control.
Legal Consequences for ZhaoPleaded guilty to U.S. charges, sentenced to four months in prison.
New LeadershipLihua He and Yulong Yan, both with backgrounds linked to Binance and its precursor.

The restructuring of Binance France marks a pivotal moment in the company’s history, reflecting the broader impacts of regulatory pressures on the cryptocurrency industry. As Binance France navigates this transition, the focus will undoubtedly be on maintaining operational continuity, ensuring regulatory compliance, and leveraging the fresh perspectives of its new leadership to drive future growth.

Featured image credit: Crypto Dost via Flickr

Dayne Lee

With a foundation in financial day trading, I transitioned to my current role as an editor, where I prioritize accuracy and reader engagement in our content. I excel in collaborating with writers to ensure top-quality news coverage. This shift from finance to journalism has been both challenging and rewarding, driving my commitment to editorial excellence.

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