SINGAPORE: Former Singapore Central Bank executive Richard Teng has been named the new CEO of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, as founder Changpeng Zhao resigned from his post on Wednesday (22 Nov). Zhao’s resignation comes after he pleaded guilty earlier to violating U.S. money laundering regulations.

Teng served as Binance’s Global Head of Regional Markets before his current promotion. With over three decades of financial services and regulatory experience, Teng previously served as CEO of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority at Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM); Chief Regulatory Officer of the Singapore Exchange (SGX), and Director of Corporate Finance in the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

In a lengthy note on X, outgoing CEO Zhao said, “it was not easy to let go emotionally. But I know it is the right thing to do. I made mistakes, and I must take responsibility. This is best for our community, for Binance, and for myself.”

Asserting his confidence that “Binance will continue to grow and excel with the deep bench it has,” Zhao called his successor a “highly qualified leader (who) will ensure Binance delivers on our next phase of security, transparency, compliance, and growth.”

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Zhao continued as a shareholder of the firm and said he would remain available to the team to consult as needed, consistent with the framework set out in our U.S. agency resolutions.

As for what lies ahead for himself, Zhao said: “I will take a break first. I have not had a single day of a real (phone off) break for the last 6 and a half years.

“After that, my current thinking is I will probably do some passive investing, being a minority token/shareholder in startups in areas of blockchain/Web3/DeFi, AI and biotech. I am happy that I will finally have more time to spend looking at DeFi.

“I can’t see myself being a CEO driving a startup again. I am content being an one-shot (lucky) entrepreneur. Should there be listeners, I may be open to being a coach/mentor to a small number of upcoming entrepreneurs, privately. If for nothing else, I can at least tell them what not to do.”