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FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried Was a ‘Master Manipulator,’ Says Binance CEO CZ

“No healthy business can be destroyed by a tweet,” Changpeng Zhao says to accusations that he caused the FTX collapse.

3 min read
Image: FTX/Decrypt.

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao wants you to know that he’s not one of the “bad guys.”

The crypto executive has taken to Twitter yet again to share his latest take on the FTX crisis and collapse, this time addressing five different “narratives” that he says are “wrong” in a thread published Tuesday. 

He clarified his stance on what he believes caused FTX to collapse, accused former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison of killing the price of FTX’s token FTT, and tripled down on his belief that Sam Bankman-Fried was a fraud—and never a rival.

“Crypto doesn’t need saving,” CZ wrote in response to the idea that he is trying to become the “savior” of crypto in the wake of FTX’s collapse

“Crypto is fine. It’s the beauty of decentralization. We are just part of it,” he added, echoing his previous statements made in September that the bear market isn’t a bad thing

CZ also made similar remarks last month, arguing that crypto is the “only stable thing” in the broader market downturn. 

While he remains relentlessly optimistic on the future of cryptocurrency, CZ has nothing but scorn for Sam Bankman-Fried and the now-bankrupt FTX. 

“FTX killed themselves (and their users) because they stole billions of dollars of user funds. Period,” CZ wrote Tuesday, arguing that no third party should be accused of causing FTX’s downfall—including himself.

“No healthy business can be destroyed by a tweet,” CZ said, presumably a reference to his November 6 tweet where CZ announced he would be selling off Binance’s holdings of FTX’s exchange token FTT. He later clarified that the selloff was because he wanted to reduce Binance’s risk and no longer wanted to “support people who lobby against other industry players behind their backs.”

FTT’s price then plummeted, triggering a major liquidity crisis at FTX. Just five days later, FTX and its affiliated entities filed for bankruptcy on November 11.

But CZ believes that Alameda’s Caroline Ellison is actually at fault for FTT’s price plunge, citing a November 6 tweet where she offered to “happily” buy all of CZ’s FTT for $22 a token. 

“She gave her floor price away,” CZ said

The Binance CEO remains concerned about his public image and the way Bankman-Fried has spoken about him.

“SBF perpetuated a narrative painting me and other people as the ‘bad guys,’” CZ wrote. “It was critical in maintaining the fantasy that he was a ‘hero.’”

CZ again denied that Sam Bankman-Fried was ever a rival, previously calling SBF a “psychopath” for even suggesting such a dynamic existed between the two crypto executives.

“We don't focus on competitors because it's a waste of time and resources,” CZ said Tuesday. 

Either way, CZ’s resentment for SBF runs deep. 

“SBF is one of the greatest fraudsters in history,” CZ wrote. “He is also a master manipulator when it comes to media and key opinion leaders.”

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