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 more than rupees 646 million (about $8 million, £6.7 million). The freeze, India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) said in an announcement on Friday, followed a money laundering investigation involving 16 fintech companies.
In the press release, the ED says:
“Zanmai Labs Pvt Ltd – the company that owns WazirX Crypto Exchange – has created a web of agreements with – Crowdfire Inc. USA, Binance (Cayman Islands), Zettai Pte Ltd Singapore – to cover up ownership of the crypto exchange.”
Binance CEO Zhao said in a tweet:
“On November 21, 2019, Binance published a blog post that it had “acquired” WazirX. This transaction was never completed. Binance has never — at any point — owned shares in Zanmai Labs, the entity that makes WazirX. exploits.”
2/ On November 21, 2019, Binance published a blog post that it had “acquired” WazirX. This transaction was never completed. Binance has at no point owned any shares in Zanmai Labs, the entity that operates WazirX.
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) August 5, 2022
According to CZ, as the Binance chief is popularly known around the crypto ecosystem, its platform “only provides wallet services for WazirX.”
This, he noted, is only offered as a technology solution and that the Mumbai-based company handles all other aspects of exchange including user registration, Know Your Customer (KYC) and trading.
“Recent allegations about the operation of WazirX and how the platform is operated by Zanmai Labs is of great concern to Binance. Binance works with law enforcement agencies around the world. We are happy to work with ED in any way we canCZ added.
ED said the investigation into WazirX started in 2021 and that the platform has not cooperated with the agency.