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Binance never viewed FTX as competition, says Changpeng Zhao

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This article has been updated to include a comment from Currency.com

Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao has pointed out that his cryptocurrency exchange was never in competition with FTX.

CZ, the CEO of crypto exchange Binance, fielded numerous questions regarding his company and FTX in a recent interview with CNBC

Last week, Reuters published a report, claiming that Iranian firms traded $8 billion on Binance despite sanctions. When asked about Binance and its role in helping Iranian companies launder money, CZ said;

“Number one, that report written by Reuters is wrong. It was fed to Reuters by a website called Currency.com. Currency.com used to be a Russian-owned website. I think FTX bought a part of the equity there. We believe that Currency.com gave Reuters access to a platform that fed them the wrong data. “
CZ added that Binance uses all the industry platforms like Chainalysis and Elliptic for transaction monitoring. These are the same tools used by law enforcement agencies. He stated that Binance is confident that its practices are compliant with industry requirements.

Popular economist Nouriel Roubini attacked Binance and CZ in a recent interview, calling him a ‘walking time bomb’ following the FTX collapse. CZ replied that Roubini seeks popularity by attacking others. Hence, what he says doesn’t carry much weight, CZ added.

CZ was also asked about Sam Bankman-Fried’s comment, who stated that he regrets entering a battle with the Binance CEO as it led to the collapse of the FTX exchange. The Binance CEO replied that;

“We were never in a battle with him. He may think he is in a battle with us, but we didn’t even notice. We did hear some concerns about him badmouthing us behind our backs in DC and other political lobbying circles. We just said we don’t want to be entangled; we just want to exit our equity portion, and we did that a year and a half ago.”

As part of the transaction, Binance received some FTT tokens, and CZ said his company wanted to sell their tokens following the CoinDesk report. He concluded that;

“We were never against them. We don’t focus on other smaller exchanges as focusing our energy there doesn’t give us the best return. If we take customers away from there, we will only grow by 1 or 0.1%. However, if we can grow the industry, we can grow our user base by 5x, 10x or even 100x. Hence, we are focused on growing the crypto market alongside other exchanges.”

Binance maintains its reputation as the leading crypto exchange and currently processes over $10 billion in daily trading volume. 

A spokesperson from Currency.com provided the following comment to Coinjournal:

“We would like to confirm that Currency.com does not have any exposure to either FTT tokens or the FTX Exchange.No part of Currency.com is owned or has ever been owned by crypto exchange FTX or any of its related entities, including Alameda Research. Currency.com does not offer FTT tokens on its platform, the token native to FTX. We continue to operate as normal, and clients can make deposits and withdrawals as they have always done.Currency.com has never paid or lobbied a media outlet to publish any article related to crypto exchange Binance.”

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