Former Binance CEO 'CZ' owns 64% of BNB circulating supply — Report

    2024.06.15 | exchangesranking | 42onlookers

    Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) reportedly owns 64% of Binance Coin's (BNB) circulating supply, or roughly 94 million BNB tokens, a Forbes report revealed.

    According to a forensic analysis conducted by Gray Wolf Analytics and the financial outlet, 80 million BNB tokens were allocated to the Binance founding team, and the company still controls 46 million of those original tokens.

    The report also noted that Binance and CZ jointly hold 71% of the 147 million BNB in circulation. Zhao's 90% equity stake in Binance and the value of his crypto holdings have catapulted him to become the 24th richest individual on the planet, with an estimated $61 billion net worth.

    BNB tokenomics 

    BNB is the native token of the Binance exchange, used for fees and rewards on the Binance platform. The utility token has a maximum supply of 200 million, with over 153 million BNB tokens circulating on the market.

    Related: Binance founder CZ receives support from crypto community as jail term starts

    At $593 per token, the current market cap of BNB stands at over $91 billion. BNB has been enjoying a bull run that more than doubled the price of the token from lows of around $290 in January 2024 to a high of $724 in June.

    Tokenomic and price metrics for Binance's BNB token. Source: CoinGecko

    Department of Justice v CZ

    In 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced indictments against Zhao and Binance for allegedly violating sanctions and money laundering laws. Zhao, who was CEO at the time, entered into a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors.

    CZ pleaded guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act and agreed to step down from his leadership role at Binance; he was succeeded by current CEO Richard Teng. The settlement also included fines of $50 million for the former CEO and a whopping $4.3 billion fine for Binance. Additionally, the DOJ also appointed the Forensic Risk Alliance, an independent consulting firm, to act as a monitor for Binance over the next three years.

    On April 30, Zhao was sentenced to four months in prison by U.S. federal judge Richard Jones, a far cry from the three years recommended by U.S. prosecutors for Zhao's alleged role in skirting sanctions violations and facilitating money laundering.

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