Goodbye CZ: Binance France changes hands to survive! – Cointribune EN

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Binance France has recently changed ownership following a warning from the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF). Former CEO Changpeng Zhao had to step down to allow the company to retain its French license.
Binance France, a subsidiary of the global crypto giant, recently underwent a major change in ownership. Indeed, this decision follows a warning issued by the AMF last December. The stock market regulator indicated that Changpeng Zhao, the former CEO of Binance, could no longer remain the ultimate beneficial owner of the company.
This action follows investigations conducted by the United States Department of Justice, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Mr. Zhao pled guilty to charges in the United States in November and was sentenced to prison.
To comply with the AMF’s requirements and retain its French license, Binance France had to find new shareholders. The company announced that the new owners now hold 100% of the company in equal parts. 
The French subsidiary has not publicly disclosed the names of the new beneficiaries. However, the information service Pappers has identified Lihua He and Yulong Yan as the new owners. These two individuals are founding members of Binance, with Yan also identified as Allan Yan, Binance’s first product director.
The change in ownership comes amid a complex regulatory environment for the exchange in Europe. The company received approval from the AMF in May 2022, allowing Binance France to operate legally in the country.
However, the AMF granted this approval after accusing Binance of violating anti-money laundering rules, even before Zhao’s indictment in the United States. According to the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation, this license would allow Binance to transfer its operations across the 27 member countries of the European Union.
However, after the CFTC filed a lawsuit against Binance in March 2023, the French subsidiary faced difficulties establishing local banking partnerships. This situation was further complicated following the departure of several senior executives in October 2023, including Stéphanie Cabossioras, the executive director of Binance France.
In June 2023, Dutch authorities refused to grant Binance a virtual asset service provider license. Later that month, Belgian regulators forced the exchange to suspend its activities in their territory.
While the crypto sector is experiencing unprecedented regulatory adoption, Binance will need to redouble its efforts to review its governance and reassure authorities. This change of owners in France seems to be a first step in that direction.
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Passionné par le Bitcoin, j’aime explorer les méandres de la blockchain et des cryptos et je partage mes découvertes avec la communauté. Mon rêve est de vivre dans un monde où la vie privée et la liberté financière sont garanties pour tous, et je crois fermement que Bitcoin est l’outil qui peut rendre cela possible.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.
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