The price of Binance’s BNB token plunged Tuesday upon reports that the leading cryptocurrency exchange and its CEO and founder Changpeng Zhao (aka “CZ”) plan to plead guilty and pay a sizable fine to settle charges from the United States Department of Justice.
BNB has fallen 8% in the last hour after posting earlier gains, and currently sits at a price of about $240 as of this writing. It’s also down 8% on the day, per data from CoinGecko, and has fallen the sharpest of the leading cryptocurrencies over the past hour.
Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two leading cryptocurrencies, are starting to see gradual price dips as well, but not nearly to the same level as BNB right now.
Bitcoin is down 0.9% over the past hour to a current price of just under $36,900. It fell more sharply on the news to about $36,320, but has since ticked back up. Ethereum’s dip, meanwhile, is slightly more pronounced—it’s down 1.6% in the last hour to a current price of $1,973.
Binance and Zhao will reportedly plead guilty to violating United States anti-money laundering requirements, with the exchange paying a $4.3 billion settlement to deal with the charges. Zhao has reportedly agreed to step down from his executive role at the top exchange, sources tell The Wall Street Journal.
The Department of Justice is expected to announce the settlement at 3pm ET. The deal will also reportedly settle civil charges filed by the CFTC, but will not include a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).