TL;DR: Popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) lost his cool in relation to a story from The Block about a supposed raid on his company’s China offices. CZ denied offices existed on the mainland, and doubled-down on usage of the verb “raid” in the news outlet’s reporting. “We will be suing them,” he thundered, teasing how he and TRON’s Justin Sun would pledge nearly $1.5 million for an Anti-FUD Fund to combat such stories in the future. It’s time to call out these tactics as cowardly and anti-crypto at their core.
Binance CEO’s Clumsy Take on The Block’s China Raid Misstep is Cowardly & Anti-Crypto
In a lot of ways, the peer-to-peer electronic cash community has no dog in the Binance and The Block kerfuffle. Binance has a well-documented aversion to projects such as Bitcoin Cash, monkeying with its ticker, etc. For its part, The Block is often snarkily dismissive of cash-like crypto news, relegating its coverage toward a sort of ghettoization, if at all.
The problem for most people is, you have to front the legal costs, which can mount to millions of dollars. Fortunately, we can deal with it.
One of the key problem with most legal systems around the world today.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) April 12, 2019
Frankly, CoinSpice would greatly benefit by watching the two heavily funded drama queens go at one another, and our unique niche within the ecosystem could pick at both along the way, pointing at the absurdity of it all. We just might get a chance if CZ continues with his nonsense.
Binance is often unfairly characterized as a degenerate gambling, shitcoin bucket shop, churning out horrible coins and tokens, muscling grifters for hidden/masked listing fees, while hiding its own rampant incompetence when it comes to basic user security. I prefer to see the exchange for its unicorn-ness within the space. They get high marks for UI, for offering a wide variety of cryptocurrency choice, for proving there to be a crypto-to-crypto trading value, and they’ve been pretty honest about operating mistakes. I’m a reluctant fan.
Key Problem With Most Legal Systems Around the World Today
CZ is a star. He’s an affable go-getter who mostly stays positive, posting often about his business’ constant movement, innovation, growth. It’s inspiring what he’s done in such a short time, gaining exchange market share in both good and bad times, sentiment wise. There’s a lot to recommend about the dude and his company.
And when an insane maniac began wielding lawsuit threats against an anonymous Twitter space cat avatar for trolling, CZ jumped in the battle and took a gallant, albeit slightly off-putting in terms of precedent, stance and delisted an associated coin tied to the harasser. Back then, in the foggy days of April 2019 so very long ago, CZ was all about protecting the relative ‘little guy’ against a larger, better-funded aggressor. “The problem for most people is,” CZ explained then, “you have to front the legal costs, which can mount to millions of dollars. Fortunately, we can deal with it. One of the key [problems] with most legal systems around the world today.”
I agree. Of course, CZ doesn’t see The Block quite the same way, and would find the analogy lacking. In his estimation, The Block is filled with smug New York types, know-it-alls who want clout, appealing to their venture capitalist, institutional finance, corporate bias. He and The Block have had an uneasy relationship for a while, and the relatively new news site has indeed gotten over its skis a few times, having to retract or apologize.
Growing the Space is Wonderful
There is zero interest on my part in driving traffic to The Block. A case could be made for shooting ourselves in the foot by taking a side either way. But The Block has to be defended in this instance. Personally, I think CZ and the presumably near-hairless Justin Sun should indeed establish an Anti-FUD Fund, creating their own marketing arm to counter bad crypto reporting. Growing the space is wonderful. A TRONance FUD Counter site would be a fun read, and might really clean up reporting as a whole. That’s fair, and I welcome the competition.
That’s also why The Block is so very important. They’ve got first-rate reporters, interesting analysis, a neat podcast, and have a unique perspective. Yes, it’s the typical US progressive, Beto-is-on-to-something worldview, filled with all those silly assumptions, but The Block has managed to cover more, in some cases, than established outlets like CoinDesk and CoinTelegraph in about the same amount of time, ironically, as Binance has the crypto trading world. You’d think the two would find value in one another over just that fact alone.
But drop the goofy lawsuit threats, CZ. They make you and Binance, obviously great aspects of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, seem weak and cowardly. Bullying doesn’t fit you. Your social media street cred is enough to get you through any FUD by The Block, and the magic escape hatch of The Block’s China office raid story impacting prices and your business is less than compelling. Readers, of course, might have trouble defending polarizing, often online schizophrenic personalities such as Dudas and his news organization. I get that too.
CZ has read Bastiat and Hazlitt, and he’s much more aligned with us in terms of economic philosophy. But employing middle persons, licensed by the state, to use guns and jails of the state to forcibly bend a crypto news site to your will is deeply offensive to the basic premise of cryptocurrency and its ethos. Deeply. Frankly, it’s something The Block’s readers would advocate if roles were reversed. I call on CZ to fund his own FUD counter and, if saving face is important, quietly let the lawsuit talk drop — or come out magnanimously in an AMA to explain it was just a troll. Whatever. Lawsuit threats chill information gathering, darken badly needed portals to better get at the truth, and empower the worst aspects of society. Enough.
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DYOR: CoinSpice is your home for just spicy crypto things. We’re not affiliated with any cryptocurrency project or token. Each published piece is intended for information purposes only, not investment advice and not in the hope of impacting speculative markets. There are plenty of trading sites and coin-specific advocacy journals out there, we’re neither. CoinSpice strives for rigorous accuracy in our reporting. Information presented here is contingent usually on a host of factors, and the ecosystem moves fast — prices change, projects change, and at warp speed. Do your own research.
DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.