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Binance inflows: CEO Changpeng CZ Zhao takes on, sinks competitors with pointed tweets

By Raphael Sanis


Updated

Changpeng Zhao speaking at a conference
Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, criticised FTX for using its own FTT token as collateral – Photo: Getty Images

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has taken aim at competitors after the collapse of the FTX exchange last week sparked turmoil in the industry.

Sharing on Twitter, Zhao recently said that Binance has a policy to “not comment on competitors”. But he admitted that he has broken this rule.

He tweeted: “Going forward, I will break this policy a bit and be more vocal about issues I see in the industry. May cause more ‘debates’ or more fight memes. But that’s not my intention. It’s to reduce risk.” 

FTX conflict

The rival exchanges FTX and Binance have clashed together once again last week. This kicked off when Binance started dumping its holdings of FTX’s native FTT token. The downfall of FTT and a liquidity crisis eventually led to FTX’s bankruptcy.

Zhao took to Twitter on 8 November taking aim at FTX. He advised other exchanges to “never use a token you created as collateral” and “don’t borrow if you run a crypto business”.

Binance later revealed it planned on acquiring the collapsed exchange and the FTX ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried attempted to calm tension between the two.

He tweeted: “I know that there have been rumours in media of conflict between our two exchanges, however Binance has shown time and again that they are committed to a more decentralized global economy while working to improve industry relations with regulators.”

Yet, this deal eventually fell through after Binance cited due diligence issues.

Crypto.com’s wallet mistake

In the quickly developing world of crypto, Zhao has criticised another exchange.

XRP/USD

0.61 Price
+0.160% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0753%
Short position overnight fee 0.0069%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.01168

SOL/USD

174.04 Price
-0.560% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0753%
Short position overnight fee 0.0069%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 2.2652

BTC/USD

65,835.35 Price
-0.090% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0616%
Short position overnight fee 0.0137%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 106.00

DOGE/USD

0.13 Price
-0.120% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0753%
Short position overnight fee 0.0069%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.0012872

News recently broke that the trading platform Crypto.com had accidentally sent $400m ETH to the wrong address.

Kris Marszalek, the exchange’s CEO, said they intended to move the funds to a new cold storage address on 29 October, but accidentally transferred the assets to Gate.io, another trading platform.

While these funds were eventually recovered by the Crypto.com team, Zhao attacked the exchange. He tweeted: “If an exchange have to move large amounts of crypto before or after they demonstrate their wallet addresses, it is a clear sign of problems. Stay away.”

The Skyrex exploit

Binance appeared to have problems of its own. A Twitter user who goes under the handle CarlosOMFG said someone had accessed his Binance account and bought millions of dollars worth of axie infinity (AXS).

After talking with Carlos, Zhao discovered the exploit was actually down to the Skyrex trading bot platform, which had control of his API key. Zhao claimed Skyrex had leaked his API key, which allowed a hacker to access his Binance account.

He also tweeted: “We will try to disable all API keys that was used by Skyrex, figuring out how to identify them now.”

Zhao said there are now three confirmed cases of users who had shared their API keys with third parties and were experiencing unusual trading. He encouraged traders to disable their API keys.

Markets in this article

AXS/USD
AXS/USD
6.14 USD
0.01 +0.170%

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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