SEC Legal Actions Diminish Wealth of Coinbase and Binance Chief Executives

The Impact of SEC Lawsuits on Coinbase and Binance CEOs’ Net Worths

The net worths of Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) have suffered heavy blows due to recent lawsuits by the United States securities regulator.

According to data from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and Forbes, Armstrong’s net worth was slashed by $289 million and Zhao’s by $1.33 billion within a span of 30 hours after the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Binance on June 5 and then Coinbase on June 6.

Zhao, who is the richest man in the crypto industry and the 54th richest person overall, had his net worth fall 5.1% to $26 billion this week. Despite a rebound of over 106% this year, Zhao is still down over 73% from his highest net worth of $96.9 billion in January 2022.

On the other hand, Armstrong, ranked as the 1,409th richest person by Forbes, took the bigger hit from the SEC’s latest action, with his net worth falling 11.8% to $2.2 billion. However, he has managed to reap the rewards of a market rebound this year, experiencing a 61% increase in net worth over that time.

Both Zhao and Armstrong have seen net worth increases well above the 9% year-to-date returns for others on Bloomberg’s rich list, despite the recent fall caused by the SEC lawsuits.

SEC Lawsuits and Allegations

The SEC sued both Binance and Coinbase, alleging that the exchanges broke various securities rules, most notably for purportedly offering cryptocurrencies that the regulator considers to be unregistered securities.

As a result of the lawsuits, a total of 67 cryptocurrencies have now been classified as securities by the SEC.

Defense Statements from Binance and Coinbase

Both Binance and Coinbase have confirmed that they will “vigorously” defend the lawsuits laid against them.