Binance CEO CZ says exchange could shut down WazirX platform


Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the CEO of crypto exchange Binance, has stirred panic among users of WazirX. CZ said Binance could shut down the Indian cryptocurrency platform and has advised its users to transfers their funds to Binance.

CZ was denying claims made by WazirX founder Nischal Shetty that the Indian exchange is owned by Binance following a probe by Indian government agencies.

“Binance provides wallet services for WazirX. WazirX domain is transferred to our control. We were given a shared access to an AWS account. We could shutdown WazirX. But we can’t, because it hurts users,” CZ tweeted.

“If you have funds on WazirX, you should transfer it to Binance. Simple as that.”

Users in turn flooded its Telegram channel asking if this was true, whether their funds were safe and whether its native coin WRX would be delisted by Binance.

“In light of recent events about WazirX, we wanted to assure you that operations are being conducted as normal,” WazirX responded on Telegram.

WRX is down around 11% since Friday currently priced at $0.2476, according to CoinMarketCap data.

WazirX Vice President Rajagopal Menon also tried to quell fears, stating, “We are the only large crypto exchange that allows complete withdrawals of cryptos in India and that shows how solvent we are and how sensible our business model is. Indian rupee (INR) withdrawals are working, and there is no issue in terms of the structural viability of the company. Users crypto is safe.”

WRX is down around 11% since Friday currently priced at $0.2476, according to CoinMarketCap data.

CZ’s comments came after India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided the properties of WazirX director and co-founder Sammer Mhatre on Aug. 5. The properties were raided as part of an investigation over alleged fraud on instant loan apps which the crypto platform “actively assisted,” according to ED.

India’s Ministry of Finance had also said that that it was investigating WazirX, alleging that it used Binance to disguise transactions.

Binance was believed to be the owner of WazirX, but CZ denied the claim on Twitter. “Binance does not own any shares in Zanmai Labs, the entity operating WazirX and established by the original founders,” Zhao said. Referring to a blog post announcing the acquisition in November 2019, CZ said the deal was never completed.

Nischal Shetty however suggested on Twitter that CZ was muddling the situation by referring to Zanmai Labs.

“WazirX was acquired by Binance. Zanmai Labs is an India entity owned by me & my co-founders Zanmai Labs has license frm Binance to operate INR-Crypto pairs in WazirX Binance operates crypto to crypto pairs, processes crypto withdrawal,” he tweeted.

He said that Binance owns the WazirX domain name, root access to its servers, all its crypto assets and all profits.

“Don’t confuse Zanmai and WazirX,” he added.

At the time of writing, Binance had not responded to CoinDesk’s request for clarification on the matter.

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