Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao and former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) have revealed new details about the failed agreement between the exchanges during FTX’s liquidity crisis in November.
In a Dec. 9 Twitter thread, CZ referred to Bankman-Fried as a “fraudster,” saying Binance exited its position in FTX in July 2021 after becoming “increasingly uncomfortable with Alameda/SBF.” According to the Binance CEO, SBF was “unhinged” at the exchange pulling out — a claim that prompted an online response from the former FTX CEO.
Bankman-Fried criticized CZ for his public admonition of FTX, adding details about the negotiations between the exchanges amid FTX’s reported “liquidity crunch” in November prior to the firm filing for bankruptcy. SBF said at the time that FTX had reached a “strategic transaction” with CZ, but Binance later pulled out after reviewing the exchange’s balance sheets. The former FTX CEO claimed that Binance “threatened to walk at the last minute” without an additional $75 million, accusing CZ of lying about his role in the deal.
“You didn't even have the rights to pull out as an investor unless we chose to buy you out--much of the tokens/equity were still locked,” said SBF, addressing CZ.
CZ responded in kind:
“Sam, not that it matters now. You also can’t force us to sell if we don’t want to. Also, we have the veto right to block any further fundraising you were doing. Never used or mentioned it. It was never a competition or fight. No one won [...] Don’t try to tell your friends to focus on us. Focus on yourself. You should have learned that by now.”
Lawmakers with the United States House Finance Services Committee previously called on Bankman-Fried to speak at a hearing exploring the collapse of FTX. Though SBF initially said he planned to wait to testify until he had “finished learning and reviewing what happened,” committee leadership threatened a subpoena, prompting the former FTX CEO to say on Twitter he would be “willing to testify” on Dec. 13.
Though Bankman-Fried has seemingly been attempting to delay appearances with officials regarding the events leading to FTX’s downfall, he has not been shy about interviews with various media outlets. Since FTX Group’s Chapter 11 filing on Nov. 11, SBF has repeatedly publicly apologized for his role in the exchange’s collapse.