Binance CEO Zhao Says Planned FTX Acquisition Is Not a 'Win for Us'

Binance CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao wrote in a note to staff on Wednesday that the exchange's agreement to acquire rival FTX is not "a win for us." Zhao shared the memo on Twitter after the Financial Times initially reported on it.

FTX's near collapse has "severely shaken" confidence in the crypto industry and will see regulators "scrutinize exchanges even more," Zhao wrote in the note.

"Licenses around the globe will be harder to get,” he added.

The Sam Bankman-Fried-led exchange FTX agreed to sell itself to the world's largest crypto exchange Tuesday after it faced a liquidity crisis, following concerns about the makeup of sister firm Alameda Research's balance sheet, first reported by CoinDesk on Nov. 2.

Binance initially responded to the report by selling all of its FTT tokens, the native coin of FTX, which hastened the widespread exodus of assets from the FTX platform.

In his Wednesday note, Zhao reminded staff not to trade FTT tokens as due diligence for the deal continues. He acknowledged that Binance continued to own FTT tokens but that as soon as he finished talking to Bankman-Fried on Tuesday, he told his team to stop selling its holdings of FTT.

“We need to hold ourselves to a higher standard than even in banks,” Zhao wrote.

Zhao also said in his staff note that Binance "did not master plan this or anything related to it."

"It was less than 24 hours ago that SBF called me. And before that, I had very little knowledge of the internal state of things at FTX. I could do some mental calculations with our revenues to guess theirs, but it would never be very accurate," Zhao wrote.

Read more: The Story of Sam Bankman-Fried’s Backroom Deal With Binance’s CZ