Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has denied a rumor that he had been “shot” by a United States federal law enforcement agency after it “spread widely” across a Chinese messaging platform.
In a March 4 tweet, CZ addressed the false speculations circulating on the Chinese messaging platform WeChat — claiming he was “shot” by The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) — taking the opportunity to reiterate the close working relationship that exists between Binance and the FBI.
Someone photoshoped this, and it got spread widely on WeChat in china. It says I got shot by the FBI, whom our team work with closely… ♂️ 4. pic.twitter.com/2Iz7c1QgA8— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) March 3, 2023
He wrote the number “4” at the end of the tweet, referring to his Jan. 3 tweet about simplifying his goals for 2023.
He listed the 4th goal as a reminder to ignore FUD (Fear, uncertainty and doubt), fake news, attacks and other distractions.
The first three goals listed were to focus on education, compliance, as well as product and service.
Shortly after, CZ retweeted a tweet by a user asking him, “Brother Peng, I heard that you were biu-biued [shot] by the FBI? If it’s true, you just nod your head and give a hint [translated].”
If you sold on someone’s photoshopped fake image, then I feel sorry for you, but not really… https://t.co/pRfC2Jsqz5— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) March 3, 2023
The user had circled text on a screenshot that stated, “Zhao Changpeng was shot dead by the FBI [translated].”
Related: Binance CEO responds to Forbes claims: ‘They don’t know how an exchange works’
A MetaMask security analyst, Harry Denley, likened the event to a false rumor spread about Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin in 2017 “dying in a car crash.”
Denley called the rumor about CZ the “2023 adaptation of attempted market manipulation,” and suggested that CZ does a “proof of life” with the latest BNB Smart Chain block hash.
It was previously announced in October 2022 that Binance.US hired former FBI special agent BJ Kang to head up its investigation unit to combat illegal activity on the platform.
Kang was once dubbed “the most feared man on Wall Street” by Reuters after being photographed arresting Bernie Madoff — who was found guilty of running the largest Ponzi scheme in history.
In more recent news, CZ and Binance.US CEO Brian Shroder were sent a letter on March 1 from three United States senators, Elizabeth Warren, Chris Van Hollen and Roger Marshall, demanding more information regarding Binance financials.
The senators claimed that the “little information” available regarding Binance’s financials suggests that the exchange is a “hotbed of illegal financial activity.”