The fast-moving cluster that was the OpenAI leadership battle appears to have been resolved with Sam Altman returning as CEO. Shoutout to our cartoonist Matt Bodkin who I thought captured the last five days at OpenAi well (see below).
But the OpenAI story was eclipsed yesterday by monumental news in the world of crypto. The world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, has agreed to pay $4.3 billion in fines to the U.S. government for violating anti-money-laundering requirements.
That would have been a massive story in and of itself. But when Changpeng Zhao (CZ) appeared in a Seattle court yesterday he pleaded guilty to facilitating transactions with sanctioned groups. He agreed to personally pay a $50 million fine and to step down from the CEO role of the company he founded.
He will avoid jail time unlike his fellow crypto luminary Sam Bankman-Fried, and his fall is nowhere near as complete. But this must be a huge blow to CZ personally as he will no longer control the most important company in crypto.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. We will be back on Monday.
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USA: Sam Altman to return as OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is returning to OpenAI as its chief executive, the high-profile AI startup said Wednesday, a dramatic reversal that caps an intense five days of discussions, debates and convincing following the sudden dismissal of Altman last week from the startup he co-founded.
UK: Ex-Revolut leaders build digital wallet A group of former Revolut, Coinbase and Spotify staffers have unveiled Zeal, a digital wallet for managing crypto and interacting with web3 and decentralised finance apps.
Peter Renton is the chairman and co-founder of Fintech Nexus, the world’s largest digital media company focused on fintech. Peter has been writing about fintech since 2010 and he is the author and creator of the Fintech One-on-One Podcast, the first and longest-running fintech interview series.