Binance co-founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao has given several interviews discussing the outlook for cryptocurrencies after a tumultuous two weeks in the market.
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The CEO of the largest online cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has slammed the former CEO of the bankrupt FTX exchange and targeted economist Nouriel Roubini.
Appearing at the Milken Institute’s Middle East and Africa Summit on Thursday, Changpeng Zhao, known as “CZ,” was asked to respond to a tweet by Sam Bankman-Fried in which he referred to a “rival partner,” largely believed to be CZ, rival exchange chief Binance. .
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“When he tweeted about his sparring partner, his house on fire and all this going on, he lost focus. I didn’t know this problem existed in FTX long before we sold these FTT tokens” said CNBC’s Dan Murphy.
“The day when he tweeted that, he should have been working on other things. He shouldn’t be writing tweets.”
Zhao also added details about Binance’s decision Undo the deal to save rival FTX exchange on November 9th.
“To be absolutely clear [Bankman-Fried] came to me. When he came to me I knew he was desperate. So it’s possible that a group of people have accepted the deal before us,” Zhao said on Thursday.
“It didn’t take long for us to discover that there were bigger problems [at FTX] than we could have imagined.”
When asked if he thought the former FTX CEO was a criminal, Zhao said he would leave that judgment to other people but said, “[knew] There were lies and misappropriation of people’s money,” which he described as “fraud.”
CNBC has contacted FTX and Bankman-Fried to respond to comments but has not yet received a response.
Economist Nouriel Roubini also came through the interview after describing Changpeng Zhao as one of the “Seven Cs of Cryptocurrency” — an unfamiliar list that also included “hidden, corrupt, fraudsters, criminals, con artists, carnival barkers.”
Roubini described cryptocurrencies and some of their major players as a “completely corrupt ecosystem” at an Abu Dhabi Financial Week event on Wednesday.
Zhao’s response to the criticism was simple: “We don’t care,” he told CNBC on Thursday.
“Negative energy does not make it far in life and these people will generally remain poor,” he said, noting that Roubini was “very impolite” and someone who “doesn’t know the local customs.”
The CEO has had a busy week speaking up, and said Wednesday about cryptocurrency “he’s gonna be okay” After he announced plans for a recovery fund for people who had faced a rough patch in the industry.
“We want the strong players in the industry today to protect the good players in the industry who might be hurt in the short term,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said, also speaking from Abu Dhabi.
The cryptocurrency has been in the spotlight this week after rival Binance’s FTX trading platform He declared bankruptcy on Friday and price bitcoin It fell below $17,000 for the first time since 2020.
The events also raised concerns about a so-called “cryptocurrency contagion.” It could lead to the downfall of other big industry names, such as Crypto.com. CEO of the company He denied the allegations He said the platform was “business as usual”.
“In the short term there is a lot of pain, but in the long term it accelerates our efforts to make this industry healthier,” Zhao said Wednesday.
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”