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Bitcoin and Ethereum were mostly trading sideways on Wednesday after news that Binance's boss stepped down from the world's largest crypto exchange and pleaded guilty to anti-money laundering violations sent the BNB token plummeting.
CoinGecko data showed that Bitcoin was trading for $36,609 as of this writing—a drop of 2% in the past day. Over the past seven days, it's up 0.3%.
While Ethereum, the second-biggest digital asset, was up by more than 3%, trading hands for $2,034.
But Binance's BNB, the fourth biggest digital asset and the utility token for Binance's exchange, was continuing to drop—and fast—Wednesday morning Eastern Time. It had dropped in price by over 11% and was priced at $231 per token.
Yesterday, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao agreed to step down from his role at the company as part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice. The settlement also stipulates that the exchange has to make a complete exit from the U.S.—that includes its Binance US exchange and the U.S. customers who were trading on the dotcom exchange.
As a result, traders are selling their BNB holdings. Approximately $3.3 billion worth of BNB has changed hands in the past 24 hours, almost all of it on Tether (USDT) trading pairs, according to CoinGecko.
There's a very short list of times BNB volume has been higher: During the 2021 bull market, after TerraUSD collapsed in May 2022 and the day Binance announced it had a tentative agreement to acquire FTX before calling the deal off. FTX filed for bankruptcy days later.
Other major coins and tokens such as Avalanche, XRP, and Dogecoin all dipped in price. AVAX is suffering the most, having dropped 9% in the past day. XRP and DOGE have each fallen 2% since yesterday.
Decentralized exhange Uniswap's UNI token surged in price, though, and was at the time of writing priced at $5.66—a 12% 24-hour jump.
The DOJ said Tuesday that the crypto brand didn't have sufficient anti-money laundering and Know Your Customer controls in place. As a result, the platform was used by terrorists, cybercriminals and child abusers wanting to move funds.
Binance agreed to pay a $4 billion settlement—one of the biggest corporate penalties in U.S. history—and exit the American market. Zhao pleaded guilty to failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program.
Edited by Stacy Elliott.