In early August, news broke that the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) was contemplating filing fraud charges against Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The potential charges have raised concerns among officials about the possibility of a market run similar to what occurred with FTX in November 2022. Despite these worries, both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have proceeded with their own charges against Binance.
The charges brought by the SEC and CFTC accuse Binance and its founder, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, of allowing American customers to access prohibited products and manipulating trading volume through a market-maker known as Sigma Chain. This market manipulation was allegedly facilitated by Zhao’s ownership and control of the market-maker.
To understand the potential implications of law enforcement targeting Binance, we reached out to several staffers at Cointelegraph for their thoughts and investment plans if the DOJ does indeed file charges against Binance or its executives.
Joe Hall, a reporter at Cointelegraph, believes that Bitcoin will likely experience a drop if the DOJ charges Binance. However, he remains optimistic about the broader crypto industry, especially in regions like Africa, Europe, and Latin America, where there is a growing demand for decentralized, censorship-resistant money. Hall plans to continue earning, saving, and spending in Bitcoin since he firmly believes that there will only ever be 21 million Bitcoin in existence. He predicts that the price of Bitcoin will be around $38,000 by the end of the year.
Tom Blackstone, another Cointelegraph reporter, takes a more long-term perspective on the potential impact of charges against Binance. He believes that charges alone do not hold much weight unless there is a conviction, and trials often take a long time. Additionally, even if one exchange goes down, another will quickly emerge to replace it. Blackstone highlights the growing interest in cryptocurrencies and their usefulness to consumers as factors that will continue to drive investment despite negative news. He expects Bitcoin’s price to be within the range of $15,300 to $41,000 by the end of the year.
Jonathan DeYoung, a senior copy editor, adopts a “hold on for dear life” strategy with his investments. He tries to dissociate himself psychologically from market-moving events, such as the potential charges against Binance, and focuses on the long-term growth of the crypto market. DeYoung does not offer a specific prediction for Bitcoin’s price on December 31.
Cassio Gusson, a reporter for Cointelegraph Brasil, anticipates a significant blow to the market if charges are filed against Binance. He expects investors to withdraw assets from Binance, causing a crash similar to the one experienced by Terra. Gusson plans to sell his assets on the day the charges are announced and then buy back once the market has reached its bottom. He predicts that Bitcoin’s price will not exceed $40,000 by the end of the year.
Kristina Lucrezia Corner, the editor-in-chief of Cointelegraph, emphasizes that accusations against major players like Binance have a profound impact on the blockchain industry and its community. These allegations not only target specific individuals but also challenge the credibility and reputation of the entire sector. However, Corner believes that such challenges foster growth and transformation, leading to positive change in the industry. She does not provide a specific price prediction for Bitcoin on December 31 but expresses her belief in its continued growth.
Felix Ng, an editor at Cointelegraph, acknowledges that no company, including crypto firms, is “too big to fail.” While he does not believe that charges against Binance would shut down the exchange completely, he expects a dip in crypto prices and a shift of funds to other exchanges or cold wallets. Ng plans to buy during this dip. He predicts that Bitcoin’s price will be around $32,000 by the end of the year.
Marcel Pechman, a reporter, argues that the impact of charges against Binance will be minimal since the exchange operates mostly outside the United States. He expects a potential reduction in trading volumes from U.S. market makers on Binance but does not anticipate a major collapse. Pechman suggests that Tether poses a greater risk to the ecosystem without fiat gateways. He refrains from offering a specific prediction for Bitcoin’s price on December 31.
Ray Salmond, the head of markets at Cointelegraph, believes that significant enforcement action from the DOJ, such as the issuance of a Red Notice for CZ’s arrest or the temporary closure of Binance, would negatively impact the broader crypto market. Salmond closely monitors the price chart of Bitcoin every day and believes that such events would lead to a sharp decline in Bitcoin’s price. However, he does not provide a specific prediction for Bitcoin’s price on December 31.
In conclusion, the potential charges against Binance by the DOJ have generated a range of responses among Cointelegraph staffers. While some anticipate a negative impact on the market, others remain optimistic about the industry’s resilience. The future of Bitcoin’s price remains uncertain, with predictions ranging from $15,300 to $69,000 by the end of the year. Ultimately, the market’s response will depend on the outcome of the charges and the broader economic landscape.