Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has said that the global cryptocurrency exchange “never completed” the purchase of Indian crypto exchange WazirX.
Zhao’s comments come after India’s financial crime watchdog announced it had frozen WazirX assets worth over 646 million rupees (about $8 million, £6.7 million). The freeze, India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) said in a Friday announcement, followed an investigation around money laundering, and which involved 16 fintech companies.
In its press release, the ED says:
“Zanmai Labs Pvt Ltd – the company owning WazirX Crypto Exchange – has created a web of agreements with — Crowdfire Inc. USA, Binance (Cayman Islands), Zettai Pte Ltd Singapore — to obscure the ownership of the crypto exchange.”
Binance CEO Zhao said in a tweet:
“On 21 Nov 2019, Binance published a blog post that it had “acquired” WazirX. This transaction was never completed. Binance has never – at any point – owned any shares of Zanmai Labs, the entity operating WazirX.”
2/ On 21 Nov 2019, Binance published a blog post that it had “acquired” WazirX. This transaction was never completed. Binance has never – at any point – owned any shares of Zanmai Labs, the entity operating WazirX.
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) August 5, 2022
According to CZ, as the Binance chief is popularly known around the crypto ecosystem, his platform “only provides wallet services for WazirX.”
This, he noted, is only offered as a technological solution and that the Mumbai-based company handles all other exchange aspects, including user registration, Know Your Customer (KYC) and trading among others.
“Recent allegations about the operation of WazirX and how the platform is managed by Zanmai Labs are of deep concern to Binance. Binance collaborates with law enforcement agencies all around the world. We would be happy to work with ED in any way possible,” CZ added.
ED said its investigations into WazirX started in 2021 and the platform has not cooperated with the agency.