Post-Zhao Era: Binance France Swaps Ownership amid Regulatory Pressures


Binance France has undergone significant restructuring as it
aims to ensure compliance with regulatory standards in the European Union. The
decision, disclosed by the company today (Tuesday), involved the replacement of
Co-Founder Changpeng Zhao with two new shareholders.

Restructuring Ownership amidst Regulatory Compliance

The move comes amidst efforts to safeguard Binance’s
operations in France, the second-largest economy in the EU, where regulatory
frameworks mandate that the majority shareholder of a company must not have a
criminal record. Zhao, who previously held 100% ownership of Binance France,
pleaded guilty to breaching US banking laws in November.

In compliance with French regulations, the new shareholders
of Binance France are identified as Yulong Yan and Lihua He, each holding a 50%
stake. Yan, also known as Allan Yan, is a familiar figure within the
cryptocurrency sphere, having been associated with the founding team of Binance
and previously serving as a Co-Founder and Product Director at Bijie Tech, a
now-defunct Chinese exchange services company.

On the other hand, He’s background is less transparent, with
no mention in the original Binance whitepaper published in 2017. Binance
declined to provide further details regarding this shareholder, including
whether Zhao received compensation for relinquishing his shares.

Evolution in Compliance and Leadership

The shareholder reshuffle reflects broader efforts by
Binance to transition away from the Zhao era, which culminated in legal
repercussions for the company and its former CEO last year. Following a guilty
plea for facilitating illicit transactions, Binance incurred a substantial fine
and pledged to implement stringent anti-money laundering measures, alongside a
change in leadership.

Richard Teng, a former regulator with the Singapore Central Bank,
assumed the CEO position in late 2023. The ownership restructuring is
positioned within Binance’s larger “global restructuring project”
underway this year, as stated in a recent company blog post.

In response to regulatory pressures, Binance France has
taken steps to align with the regulatory landscape, particularly in
anticipation of the Markets in Crypto-Assets regulation (MiCA). MiCA is set to
introduce comprehensive regulatory standards for digital asset service
providers across the EU, with implications for licensing and operational

This article was written by Tareq Sikder at

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