Binance and WazirX disagree over ownership two years after the TechCrunch deal was announced

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume of trading, said on Friday that it does not own the Indian WazirX platform, despite revealing a takeover two and a half years ago, which has beaten industry players including the Indian firm that insists on the purchase took place .

Changpeng Zhao, Binance founder and CEO, said in a series of tweets that the company “has tried to deal for the past few years” but has yet to complete the deal, citing “a few issues” which it has refused to elaborate on.

Binance announced its acquisition of WazirX in late 2019 in a blog post. The official blog post, which featured a photo of founders Zhao and WazirX, also depicted the Binance CEO’s enthusiasm for the transaction.

“The acquisition of WazirX shows our commitment and dedication to the Indian people and strengthens the blockchain ecosystem in India, as well as another step forward in achieving money freedom,” he quoted in a 2019 post.

WazirX also announced that it was “successfully acquired by Binance” in a separate blog post.

A tweet from Zhao last year sharing the WazirX news where it is described as belonging to Binance.

Zhao said on Friday that Binance “does not own any stake in Zanmai Labs”, the operating entity of WazirX and founded by the original founders.

“On November 21, 2019, Binance posted a blog entry in which it” acquired “WazirX. This transaction has never been completed. Binance has never – at any point – held any stock in Zanmai Labs, the entity that operates WazirX, ”he wrote.

“Binance only provides wallet services to WazirX as a technical solution. There is also integration using tx off-chain to save on network charges. WazirX is responsible for all other aspects of the WazirX exchange, including user registration, KYC, trading and initiating withdrawals, ”he added.

The explanation came after the Indian Directorate of Enforcement freezes WazirX assets worth more than $ 8 million, citing suspected currency exchange rule violations.

“Recent allegations about the operation of WazirX and the way Zanmai Labs manages the platform are of deep concern to Binance. Binance works with law enforcement agencies around the world. We will be delighted to work with ED in any way we can, ”added Zhao.

The Indian anti-money laundering agency said in its order on Friday that Binance rarely responds to inquiries sent to its official email address regarding legal compliance.

WazirX is India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. Its annual trading volume exceeded $ 43 billion in 2021, a “1735% increase from 2020,” the company said late last year. The platform also shares its technology with several other Indian exchanges.

Nischal Shetty, co-founder of WazirX, questioned Zhao’s claims, claiming that Binance did acquire WazirX. In a series of tweets, he said:

The public ownership dispute took an even weirder turn on Saturday. In a tweet, Zhao said that Binance asked WazirX to port the system’s source code, deployment, and operations back in February this year, a request that WazirX claims has been rejected. Binance has no control over its systems. WazirX has refused to cooperate with us and looks reluctant to cooperate with erectile dysfunction, ”he added.

Shetty has since also doubled his claim that Binance owns WazirX, a claim that Zhao described as a “fraud.”

The story has been thoroughly updated with additional details.

Leave a Comment