Binance Bracing Itself for Fines From US Regulators to Settle ‘Past Conduct’: WSJ

As U.S. regulators continue to sniff around Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange is prepared to pay monetary penalties to “make amends” for past regulatory violations, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Binance Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Hillmann told The Journal on Wednesday that the exchange grew quickly and was not initially aware of the myriad laws and regulations designed to prevent money laundering, sanctions evasion, and corruption.

Because of that, Hillman said that Binance expects to face fines – and is “working with regulators to figure out what are the remediations we have to go through now to make amends for [past violations].”

Though regulatory scrutiny on Binance has intensified following its rival FTX’s collapse last November, Binance has been under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington since at least 2018, according to Reuters. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has reportedly sent at least two trading firms subpoenas in recent months, requesting records of their past dealings with Binance US.

Reuters reported in December that federal authorities were still discussing a potential settlement with Binance and assessing whether the evidence they have already collected is sufficient to bring charges against the exchange and several individuals, including CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao.

In his interview with The Journal, Hillman said he expected the outcome of the investigation (he did not name which specific investigation he was referring to) could “likely [be] a fine, could be more…We just don’t know. That is for regulators to decide.”

Hillman declined to estimate the size of the fines or a timeline for when the investigation might be settled, the Journal reported.

However, he added that he was “highly confident and feeling really good about where those discussions are going.”

“It will be a good moment for our company because it allows us to put it behind us,” the Journal quoted Hillman as saying.