Arthur Hayes, the former CEO of Bitmex, has explained what he thinks led to the billionaire settlement between Binance, its former CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). He detailed that the growth of Binance, a structure that was outside the control of the economic and political establishment of the Pax Americana, led to the historic deal.
Former Bitmex CEO Arthur Hayes: Binance Upended the Pax Americana Establishment
Arthur Hayes, co-founder and former CEO of Bitmex, gave his take on the recent $4.3 billion settlement between Binance, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). According to Hayes, the treatment of Binance, a company that grew to its current size in less than ten years, had to do with the insurgent characteristics of its owners, who were not part of the economic and political elites of the country.
The problem for the financial and political establishment was that the intermediaries facilitating flows into and out of the industrial revolution named blockchain were not run by members of their class.
He further explained that these elites were upset by the form in which Binance, as a crypto exchange, used the tools of the state to disintermediate the institutions of the Pax Americana, resulting in legal actions against Binance and its former CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao.
Crypto: ‘One of the Most Important Political, Financial, and Technological Developments’
Hayes then comes to compare Binance’s settlement with the DOJ to other historical corruption and money laundering cases and the institutions that allowed them to happen, like the 1MDB case, a billionaire scheme enabled by the actions of Goldman Sachs employees, or HSBC’s involvement in allowing Mexican cartels to launder money. Hayes argued that none of these institutions’ CEOs were treated like Zhao is currently being treated.
Obviously, the treatment of CZ and Binance is absurd, and only highlights the arbitrary nature of punishment at the hands of the state.
Hayes also stressed that this situation highlights the importance of crypto as “one of the most important political, financial, and technological developments in civilized human history,” allowing individuals outside of the centers of power to reach financial freedom with “just a few swipes on a smartphone.”
In 2022, Hayes was sentenced to six months of home detention and two years of probation for violating the Bank Secrecy Act after failing to implement AML and KYC programs when he served as CEO of crypto exchange Bitmex. Also, he agreed to pay a $10 million fine.
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