Binance CEO Criticizes Bankman-Fried, Calls Him “Desperate”
- Bankman-Fried shared a tweet accusing Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao of outplaying him in recent events.
- Zhao claims his tweets about liquidating Binance’s FTT holdings were a transparent move rather than a market manipulation.
- Authorities are investigating possible malpractice in the whole FTX saga.
Cryptocurrency exchange FTX has been in the spotlight for the majority of the last week. However, Sam Bankman-Fried, the platform’s former CEO, has been on the receiving end of most of the criticism targeted at the exchange.
Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of the rival exchange, Binanace, is the latest to share his thoughts on the FTX situation and its disgraced founder, Bankman-Fried. CZ claimed he knew SBF was desperate when he called for help. The Binance CEO reflected on the call with SBF while speaking at the Milken Institute’s fourth annual Middle East and Africa summit. He said,
When he came to me, I knew he was desperate. If we can’t help him, there’s probably nobody else that would. Probably a bunch of people passed on the deal before us.
CZ claimed Binance was prepared to help its crumbling rival, largely to help affected users. But, after “due diligence,” CZ said the problem at FTX was bigger than first thought. FTX surprisingly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a few days after the Binance deal was called off.
Zhao was also asked to comment on a tweet shared by Bankman-Fried where he referred to a “sparring partner,” which many believe was aimed at CZ. Bankman-Fried appeared to have congratulated his Binance rival for outplaying him in the events that led to FTX’s collapse.
19) A few other assorted comments:— SBF (@SBF_FTX) November 10, 2022
This was about FTX International. FTX US, the US based exchange that accepts Americans, was not financially impacted by this shitshow.
It's 100% liquid. Every user could fully withdraw (modulo gas fees etc).
Updates on its future coming.
CZ slammed Bankman-Fried’s tweet, claiming he never saw other crypto exchanges as rivals. He said,
Number one, he never told me I was his sparring partner. I’m actually not sure if that tweet was aimed at me or us (Binance). We never view other exchanges as sparring partners or competition — it’s not a boxing match.
Zhao urged the embattled SBF to focus on the allegations facing him rather than tweeting. The former FTX boss has been accused of fraudulent dealings and mismanagement of user funds. CZ said he advised the 30-year-old to “put on a suit and go back to D.C. and start to answer questions.”
That day, when he tweeted that, he should have been working on other things. He should not be writing tweets. In one of the messages I sent him in an industry group, I said ‘Honest advice Sam, stop doing whatever you’re doing, don’t do anything more,” CZ added.
Zhao declined to give an emphatic answer when asked if he thought SBF was a criminal. Instead, he said that was left for law enforcement agents to decide. He, however, admitted that he was shocked by the news of how Bankman-Fried behaved, leading to FTX’s collapse.
CZ and SBF have long been two of the industry’s biggest rivals. But their relationship didn’t start on a sour note. Zhao opened up on his relationship with Bankman-Fried, describing him as a “young, technically capable kind of person” with a “decent team.” The 45-year-old CZ claimed he heard rumors that SBF was lobbying against him in Washington with heavy donations.
Zhao has stayed busy since the FTX saga began, speaking at various engagements. The Binance CEO is optimistic that the crypto industry will survive the scare. He recently proposed a recovery fund to prevent a similar tragedy.