Binance executive Patrick Hillmann recently took to Twitter to accuse former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, of spreading “fake rumors” about Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao. Hillmann claimed that Bankman-Fried used his influence to label Zhao as an “evil Chinese” in an attempt to perpetuate his alleged scams at FTX.
The public relationship between SBF and CZ had been often antagonistic, with the two exchanges having financial ties. However, Hillmann’s recent comments suggest that Bankman-Fried had taken things further than what was publicly visible. Hillmann also claimed that the denigration of CZ was the norm at FTX and had nothing to do with the decision to sell the worthless FTT on the company’s books.
The rivalry between FTX and Binance came to a head when CZ announced plans for Binance to liquidate its position in FTX Token (FTT) prior to FTX’s bankruptcy, hinting that Binance would consider purchasing the competitor. However, when the deal fell apart, and FTX filed for Chapter 11, the two industry heads traded barbs through social media. CZ called SBF a “fraudster,” and the former FTX CEO suggested that Zhao lied about the buyout discussions.
Despite the animosity between the two leaders, Zhao continues to lead Binance as CEO and regularly posts messages on social media. In contrast, Bankman-Fried faces 13 federal charges, including those related to bribery and wire fraud. As part of his bail conditions, he has only limited internet access.
Bankman-Fried’s alleged actions to denigrate CZ raise concerns about the role of social media in perpetuating rivalries and conflicts within the crypto industry. As crypto exchanges continue to grow in size and importance, it is crucial for their leaders to maintain a professional and respectful public image. Failure to do so could lead to reputational damage and undermine investor trust in the entire industry.
The rivalry between FTX and Binance is not unique in the crypto industry. The space is known for its intense competition, with companies vying for dominance in an emerging market with vast potential. However, the leaders of these companies must remember that they have a responsibility to act with integrity and professionalism in their public statements and behavior.
In conclusion, Hillmann’s accusations against Bankman-Fried highlight the need for greater scrutiny of the conduct of crypto industry leaders. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, it is important for regulators and investors to demand transparency and accountability from these companies and their leaders. Only by doing so can we ensure that the promise of crypto technology is fulfilled in a way that benefits everyone.