Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has called the world’s second-largest crypto exchange on his reservations.
On Tuesday, Zhao said on Twitter: “Coinbase Custody holds 635,000 BTC (BTC-USD) on behalf of Grayscale.
“4 months ago, Coinbase (I assume the exchange) has less than 600K”. Zhao provided a link to a 4-month-old article from Bitcoinist stating that Coinbase only had 600,000 BTC.
He retracted his statement after Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong fired back with a quick response.
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Zhao made it clear that he was merely quoting “news articles” and not making any statements on his own.
However, Armstrong called his tweet “FUD” (fear, uncertainty and doubt).
amstrong tweeted back in defence: “If you see FUD there – remember, our finances are public (we are a public company)”.
Coinbase’s CEO backed up his response by revealing Coinbase’s entire bitcoin holdings.
amstrong added: “We hold ~2M BTC. Worth approximately $39.9 billion as of 9/30 (see our 10Q).”
Zhao quickly deleted his tweet, but such an influential crypto industry player questioning a rival’s track record could damage his reputation.
This comes after Zhao inflamed a bank on Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX cryptocurrency exchange with a tweet stating that Binance would liquidate its holdings in FTX’s native FTT (FTT-USD) token.
FTX was backed by FTT, which was often described as the “backbone” of the exchange.
FTT was sold at a low price to Alameda Research and the trading arm of the exchange was heavily stacked with FTX’s token, to the tune of $3.66bn (£3.05bn) ‘FTT unblocked’ and 2 $.16 billion “FTT guarantee” as assets.
When FTX artificially inflated the value of FTT, Alameda was able to use FTT as collateral to trade on the FTX exchange.
Prior to the implosion of FTX and Alameda Research, Cory Klippsten, CEO of investment platform Swan Bitcoin, said, “It’s fascinating to see that the majority of equity in the Alameda enterprise is actually FTX’s own centrally controlled and off-the-shelf token”.
Coindesk Journalist Ian Allison pop the lid on irregularities in Alameda Research’s balance sheet which showed that of the $14.6 billion in assets held by Alameda Research, much of it was in FTX’s own FTT token.
The coin which can be freely created by FTX dominated the reserves that Alameda Research used as collateral for the loans.
With outstanding debts estimated at $5.1 billion at Alameda Research, FTT holders have seen growing panic that margin calls on these loans could decimate the value of the native FTX token.
Read more: Crypto Tanks After FTX Implosion
Zhao held a substantial amount of FTT before tweeting on Nov. 6 that Binance would liquidate his holdings.
Zhao tweeted“Liquidating our FTT is just post-exit risk management, learning from LUNA.
“We’ve given our support before, but we won’t pretend to have sex after divorce. We’re not against anyone. But we won’t support people who lobby other industry players behind their backs. Ahead.”
Zhao’s announcement that he planned to sell the billions of FTT held by Binance sent the value of the cryptocurrency into an unrecoverable plunge.
FTT reached an all-time high of $85 in September 2021, but after the dramatic collapse of the FTX exchange, it is now struggling to breathe at $1.33.
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