False information spreading online suggested that the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, was seeking the immediate extradition of FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried along with Alameda Research co-CEO Sam Trabucco to answer for their crimes of losing the Salvadoran people’s Bitcoin.
The CEO of Binance, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, took to his Twitter account to put these rumors to bed, sharing that “the amount of misinformation is insane” and that he “exchanged messages with President Nayib a few moments ago.” He said that President Bukele told him, “We don’t have any Bitcoin in FTX and we never had any business with them. Thank God!”
Billionaire Mike Novogratz, who spread the misinformation in an interview with CNBC in a video that has now been deleted, took to his Twitter account to offer an apology to President Bukele and the Salvadoran people, sharing, “I fell for ‘fake news’ and while I mentioned I hadn’t confirmed it, I should have.” Novogratz thanked Binance’s CZ for “pointing it out.”
Related: El Salvador’s Bitcoin decision: Tracking adoption a year later
Since 2021, El Salvador has reportedly purchased 2,301 Bitcoin (BTC) for about $103.9 million. The Salvadoran government has said it believes BTC is a powerful tool to attract foreign investment, create new jobs and cut reliance on the United States dollar. President Bukele previously mentioned that the primary focus of recognizing BTC was to offer banking services to more than 80% of unbanked Salvadorans.
In the wake of the fallout from FTX’s insolvency issues, rumors began circulating online that the Central American nation of El Salvador, which made history in 2021 by making Bitcoin legal tender, was in trouble because it held some or all of its Bitcoin holdings in FTX.