SBF and CZ bicker over the circumstances that led to the Binance buyout deal.
In a tweet today, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried called out Binance chief Changpeng Zhao for requesting $75 million extra in the Binance buyout deal as both crypto founders bicker over the circumstances that led to the dissolution of the partnership.
The comments came as CZ asserted that Binance had initiated the process to pull out of its early investment into FTX over a year ago after becoming uncomfortable with SBF and his links to Alameda. According to CZ, the decision by Binance infuriated SBF, who threatened Binance staff as a result.
However, SBF kicks against this narrative, saying FTX initiated the process, not Binance, after deciding it was best for their business. Additionally, the former FTX chief claims that Binance strong-armed FTX into giving them an additional $75 million in the deal. Furthermore, the embattled crypto founder said Binance at the time had no right to pull out of the agreement because the tokens were locked, adding that the only way out was a buyout from FTX.
As the back and forth continues, CZ has told SBF that Binance could have also decided not to sell if FTX wished to buy them out. In addition, he noted that Binance, as a part of the partnership, had veto power over future fundraising, a fact he says he avoids mentioning. Finally, responding to continued assertions from SBF that CZ has “won,” the Binance chief made it clear that there was never any competition.
Notably, CZ has urged the FTX founder to stop pushing the focus and blame on Binance in the wake of the FTX collapse.
“Don’t try to tell your friends to focus on us,” CZ tweeted. “Focus on yourself. You should have learned that by now.”
It bears mention that today’s engagement came as the Binance chief took to Twitter to set the record straight in response to recent statements from Kevin O’Leary. In a recent interview with CNBC, O’Leary disclosed that SBF pointed at the Binance buyout deal in a recent call as one of the precipitating factors of the FTX collapse.
In response, CZ calling the integrity of the Shark Tank star into question, pointed out that FTX had made investments of over $5 billion since sharing findings from The Block researcher Larry Cermak. Moreover, he highlighted that FTX had also splurged on multiple marketing campaigns. In CZ’s view, all of this, combined with the mismanagement of user funds, sank the crypto exchange, not its $2.1 billion buyout of Binance in July 2021 with a mix of its illiquid FTT token and BUSD.
Changing Narratives After A Bad Divorce
It is worth noting that at the time of the dissolution of Binance’s stake in FTX, both crypto founders had pushed different narratives to the public.
SBF, at the time, told Decrypt that the move to buy Binance’s stake in FTX was due to differences in Business operations. On the other hand, CZ asserted that it was just the end of an investment relationship, and both exchanges maintained friendly relations in discussions with Forbes.
However, in light of recent exchanges, there appears to be more to the split than both parties let on. When precisely relations between both crypto exchanges soured is anyone’s guess.
Nonetheless, the former FTX chief may have perceived both exchanges to be in competition and have some misgivings against CZ for disclosing Binance’s plan to sell its FTT holdings. Notably, some believe the latter kickstarted the bank run that collapsed SBF’s house of cards.
“At some point I might have more to say about a particular sparring partner, so to speak,” the FTX founder wrote near the end of a lengthy thread in early November, just before the exchange filed for bankruptcy. “But you know, glass houses. So for now, all I’ll say is: well played; you won.”