Is Changpeng Zhao Really Manipulating BNB Prices?

changpeng zhao
Is Changpeng Zhao Manipulating BNB Price

YEREVAN ( — Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) owns 64% of the circulating supply of Binance Coin (BNB), according to a Forbes report. This amounts to roughly 94 million tokens. A forensic analysis by Gray Wolf Analytics revealed that 80 million BNB tokens were initially allocated to the Binance founding team, with the company still controlling 46 million of these original tokens, raising worries that CZ may have been manipulating BNB prices in recent years.

CZ's Dominance in BNB: Forbes Report"

Source: @0x3Defi_eth
CZ’s Dominance in BNB: Forbes Report. Source: @0x3Defi_eth

CZ and Binance Control 71% of BNB, Net Worth at $61 Billion

The report states that Binance and CZ together hold 71% of the 147 million BNB in circulation. Zhao’s 90% equity stake in Binance, combined with his crypto holdings, has made him the 24th richest person globally, with an estimated net worth of $61 billion.

Binance BNB Ownership. Source: Forbes
Binance BNB Ownership. Source: Forbes

BNB is the native token of the Binance exchange, used for fees and rewards on the platform. It has a maximum supply of 200 million tokens, with over 153 million currently circulating in the market. At $593 per token, BNB’s market cap stands at over $91 billion. The token’s price more than doubled from around $290 in January 2024 to a high of $724 in June.

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

“CZ Binance gave Market Makers an astounding 25% of #BNB supply to perform token manipulation fuckery,” says crypto analyst Junko Suzuki, adding:

“Celsius, Bancor, FTX, XRP, #BNB   , Luna, #BTC   , Eth etc followed suit.

CZ Steps Down, Fined $50M, Sentenced to Four Months

In 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted Changpeng Zhao and Binance for allegedly violating sanctions and money laundering laws. Zhao pleaded guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act and stepped down as CEO, succeeded by Richard Teng. The settlement included fines of $50 million for Zhao and $4.3 billion for Binance. The DOJ appointed the Forensic Risk Alliance to monitor Binance for the next three years.

Source: U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle
Source: U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle

On April 30, 2024, U.S. federal judge Richard Jones sentenced Zhao to four months in prison. This sentence was less severe than the three years recommended by U.S. prosecutors. The charges were related to Zhao’s role in facilitating money laundering and violating sanctions.

BNB’s price surged from around $290 in January to a peak of $724 in June 2024.

BNB Price Surge in 2024"

Source: CoinGecko
BNB Price Surge in 2024. Source: CoinGecko

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