Crypto firm Binance says it doesn't own India's WazirX after ED raids

by IANS |

New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) India-based crypto platform WazirX has courted massive controversy, first after Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids on its parent company Zanmai Lab and then world's largest crypto exchange Finance completely disowning the Nischal Shetty-run platform.

Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance, said in a tweet thread late on Friday that the company "does not own any equity in Zanmai Labs, the entity operating WazirX and established by the original founders".

"On 21 Nov 2019, Binance published a blog post that it had 'acquired' WazirX. This transaction was never completed. Binance has never - at any point - owned any shares of Zanmai Labs, the entity operating WazirX," Zhao contended.

The Binance CEO said that recent allegations about the operation of WazirX and how the platform is managed by Zanmai Labs are of deep concern to Binance.

"Binance collaborates with law enforcement agencies all around the world. We would be happy to work with ED in any way possible," he tweeted.

The ED on Friday searched the director of WazirX cryptocurrency and froze its bank assets worth Rs 64.67 Crore "for assisting accused instant loan App companies in laundering of fraud money via purchase and transfer of virtual crypto assets".

Zhao said that Binance only provides wallet services for WazirX as a tech solution.

"WazirX is responsible for all other aspects of the WazirX exchange, including user sign-up, KYC, trading and initiating withdrawals," he said.

WazirX is the largest crypto exchange in India and its annual trading volume exceeded $43 billion in 2021.

Shetty, co-founder of WazirX, disputed Zhao's claims in a series of tweets.

"More facts about WazirX: Binance owns WazirX domain name, Binance has root access to AWS servers, Binance has all the Crypto assets, Binance has all the Crypto profits. Don't confuse Zanmai and WazirX", he tweeted.

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