Binance CEO Denies Shooting Rumor Amidst US Senators’ Scrutiny
Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, CEO of Binance, has refuted claims that he was "shot" by a US federal law enforcement agency.
This rumor had spread widely across a Chinese messaging platform called WeChat. In a tweet on March 4, CZ addressed the false rumors and reiterated the strong relationship between Binance and the FBI.
Someone photoshoped this, and it got spread widely on WeChat in china. It says I got shot by the FBI, whom our team work with closely… 🤷♂️ 4. pic.twitter.com/2Iz7c1QgA8
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) March 3, 2023
He also listed his four goals for 2023, with the first three being to focus on education, compliance, and product and service. The fourth goal was to ignore fake news, FUD, and other distractions.
A screenshot circulating on social media falsely claimed that CZ had been “shot dead” by the FBI, which was likened to a false rumor about Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin in 2017.
A MetaMask security analyst, Harry Denley, called the rumor about CZ the “2023 adaptation of attempted market manipulation” and suggested that CZ does a “proof of life” with the latest BNB Smart Chain block hash.
In October 2022, Binance.US hired former FBI special agent BJ Kang to lead its investigation unit and combat illegal activity on the platform. Kang was once dubbed “the most feared man on Wall Street” after being photographed arresting Bernie Madoff, who was found guilty of running the largest Ponzi scheme in history.
CZ and Binance.US CEO Brian Shroder were sent a letter on March 1 from three US senators (Elizabeth Warren, Chris Van Hollen, and Roger Marshall) demanding more information regarding Binance’s financials. The senators claimed that the “little information” available suggests that the exchange is a “hotbed of illegal financial activity.”
This recent scrutiny adds to the challenges facing Binance, which has been under pressure from regulators in multiple countries.