(London) Under pressure since this weekend, the cryptocurrency platform FTX.com will be bought by the number one in the sector, the giant Binance, announced Tuesday the boss of the latter, who was not for nothing in the setbacks of the targeted company.
“We intend to fully acquire FTX.com,” said Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO, on Twitter, who assures that the group has “asked him for help”. His counterpart at FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, also says on the social network that he has “an agreement on a strategic transaction with Binance for FTX.com”.
If Mr. Bankman-Fried does not give more details on the nature of the transaction, he assures that it does not change anything “for the moment” for the American branch of FTX, FTX.us.
According to cryptocurrency and platform benchmarking site Coingecko, trading volumes on Binance are over $14 billion in the past 24 hours, while fourth-ranked FTX.com saw nearly $2 billion. of transactions.
No details on the buyout value were shared. It comes after a tough few days for FTX, whose struggles were fueled by Mr. Zhao himself.
Duel on Twitter
Binance indeed held FTX’s own cryptocurrency, the FTX Token (FTT) as part of an exit from the platform’s capital, which it entered in 2019.
But a few days after the publication of an article by the specialized media Coindesk reporting massive investments by another company of Mr. Bankman-Fried in the FTT, Mr. Zhao announced on Sunday that he was selling his reserves of this cryptocurrency.
To explain this withdrawal, Mr. Zhao had compared the lack of diversification of the FTX group, according to him, with the painful memory of Luna, this foundation whose cryptocurrency terra had collapsed in May and whose founder is now wanted by Interpol.
“Liquidating our position in FTT is just a way to manage risk and learn from Luna,” Changpeng Zhao tweeted, in a virulent charge where he also accused FTX of “lobbying against other industry players. ‘industry “.
Mr. Bankman-Fried then called the accusations “unsubstantiated rumours”.
On the contrary, he now tempers the rivalry between the two platforms on Twitter: “I know that there have been rumors in the media about a conflict between our two trading platforms, however Binance has repeatedly shown its desire to building a decentralized global economy and working on industry relations with regulators,” he said.
The two bosses, better known by their initials, cultivate diametrically opposed public images.
“SBF”, 30 years old, calmly answers questions from regulators and journalists alike and claims to want a clearer legal framework for the sector, even if the head office of FTX remains in the Bahamas.
“CX”, 45, is on the contrary a virulent supporter of the decentralization of cryptocurrencies.
Its Binance platform recently allowed the transit of funds belonging to or intended for Iranian nationals, the company said on Friday, which however claims to have now frozen these accounts which risked allowing the circumvention of American sanctions against Tehran.