After a week of public spat between Binance’s chief executive, Changpeng Zhao, and FTX’s boss, Sam Bankman-Fried, two major offshore cryptocurrency exchanges are merging.
“This afternoon, FTX asked for our help,” Zhao tweeted. “There is a significant liquidity crunch. To protect users, we have signed a non-binding agreement [letter of intent]FTX.com wants to acquire it completely.
Bankman-Fried confirmed the news in a tweet. He said: “Things have come full circle, and FTX.com’s first and last investors are the same: we have reached an agreement for a strategic transaction with Binance for FTX.com (like the pending DD).”
The deal will see FTX “fully acquired” by Binance, in exchange for a cash crunch on the embattled exchange. Further terms have not been disclosed by either party.
Binance.US and FTX.US, the two companies’ respective US regulated exchanges, remain independent.
Bankman-Fried is a major donor to the U.S. Democratic Party, and FTX was a top-20 contributor to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. Paying over $5 million. Bankman-Fried has been reported to exist Donated about $40 million This year ahead of today’s midterm elections.
The two chief executives are among the industry’s most prominent players, with their initials CZ and SBF — and each capable of moving markets with a single tweet. They have worked together in the past, with Binance investing in FTX at the exchange’s launch.
But on Sunday, CZ published a short thread saying “due to recent revelations that have come to light”, the company will sell about $2bn-worth of FTT crypto tokens that FTX created and issued to investors several years ago.
Although CZ did not address the allegations, his post came days after Dirty Bubble Media, a fake crypto researcher, accused Alameda Research, another company of SBF, of bankruptcy: Alameda held a significant portion of its own assets in FTT. “It’s almost as if the SBF found a way to hack the financial system, printing billions of dollars out of thin air against which he was able to borrow huge sums from unknown counterparties.” The post said.
Binance’s decision to sell tokens prompted an immediate response, with users of FTX rushing to withdraw their money from the exchange. On Monday, the SBF struck again in CZ, Posting: “A competitor is trying to go after us with false rumours. FTX is good. Assets are good. FTX is big enough to cover all client holdings… I love it, [CZ]If we can work together for the ecosystem.
CZ ignorance is fake, to say Little did I know that he was “the straw that broke the camel’s back in 5 minutes”. My tweets were simple. Binance had questions about a large ($580m) FTT deposit and we were transparent about closing our FTT position.
Meanwhile, the withdrawals continued until Tuesday morning, when FTX stopped processing customers’ requests to withdraw their money. Blockchain records show a four-hour interval during which only a specific type of crypto asset, called an ERC-20 token, was registered from the exchange’s digital wallet. By 4 pm, the SBF conceded defeat.
After FTX announced the sale, “our teams are working on clearing the backlog,” he wrote. “This will eliminate liquidity crunches; all assets will be under 1:1. This is one of the main reasons why we asked Finance to come in. It may take some time to sort things out – we apologize for that. But the important thing is that customers are protected.
“A *huge* thank you to CZ, Binance and all our supporters. This is a user-centric development that will benefit the entire industry … I know there have been rumors in the media about conflicts between our two exchanges, however Binance has shown time and time again that they are committed to a more decentralized global economy while working to improve. Industrial relations with regulators. We are in excellent hands.