The crypto industry is witnessing a new war between exchange giants FTX, led by Sam Bankman-Fried, and Binance-led Changpeng “CZ” Zhao. Over the past week, rumors emerged about the former exchange becoming insolvent and holding an illiquid balance sheet.
The Binance CEO seems to be fulling speculations. During the weekend, CZ expressed concerns about “recent revelations” around FTX. In 2021, Binance invested FTX and received around $2 billion in BUSD, and the Bankman-Fried supported token FTT.
Now, Binance will sell its FTT tokens and liquidate any participation and equity in its competitor. The decision was controversial as CZ constantly speaks about different actors working together to grow the crypto industry. This time is different for the executive, via Twitter CZ wrote:
Regarding any speculation as to whether this is a move against a competitor, it is not. Our industry is in it’s nascency and every time a project publicly fails it hurts every user and every platform (…).
Running The FTX Bank
Despite CZ’s statement, the decision is considered part of a “Bank Run,” when many customers withdraw their money from a financial institution leading to insolvency, against the Bankman-Fried led FTX. So far, the strategy is working.
Data from Dune Analytics indicates that the 24 hours NetFlow for FTX is negative. In other words, people withdraw their tokens more than they deposit them. The platform has seen a negative $26 million in Netflow.
As seen in the chart below, stablecoin USDC dominated the Netflow. This metric trended to the downside with the rumors of insolvency. On higher timeframes, the Bank Run worsens with FTX recording -$86 million weekly Netflows and -$230 million in 30 days.
In the meantime, Binance began its attack on FTT. The token has been following the general sentiment in the market, but now it’s experiencing further selling pressure.
In this context, when Binance takes the short side of the trade in a crypto bear market, who will bet against them taking the long side? FTT seems poised for further losses in the coming months.
We will try to do so in a way that minimizes market impact. Due to market conditions and limited liquidity, we expect this will take a few months to complete. 2/4
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) November 6, 2022
Sam Bankman-Fried Clears The Air
Via Twitter, Sam Bankman-Fried addressed recent events claiming that a competitor is trying to attack them with “false rumors.” In that sense, the executive assured his followers that FTX is “fine” and solvent. Bankman-Fried wrote:
FTX has enough to cover all client holdings. We don’t invest client assets (even in treasuries). We have been processing all withdrawals, and will continue to be. It’s heavily regulated, even when that slows us down. We have GAAP audits, with > $1b excess cash. We have a long history of safeguarding client assets, and that remains true today.
Bankman-Fried called on CZ to work on a compromise and try to “work together for the ecosystem.” Binance is yet to reply, but CZ seems adamant in his position.