Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has denied rumors that he was “shot” by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which were spread widely on a Chinese messaging platform. In a tweet on March 4, CZ addressed the false speculations, and reiterated the close working relationship that exists between Binance and the FBI. He also emphasized the importance of ignoring fake news, distractions, and attacks, which he listed as his fourth goal for 2023.
The rumor was quickly debunked by CZ, who took the opportunity to remind Binance users to remain vigilant against fake news and distractions. He also retweeted a tweet by a user asking him about the rumor, and suggested that CZ should provide a “proof of life” with the latest Binance Smart Chain (BSC) block hash.
This event is similar to a false rumor spread about Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin in 2017, when he was rumored to have died in a car crash. Security analyst Harry Denley called the rumor about CZ the “2023 adaptation of attempted market manipulation.”
In recent news, CZ and Binance.US CEO Brian Shroder were sent a letter on March 1 from three United States senators, Elizabeth Warren, Chris Van Hollen, and Roger Marshall, demanding more information regarding the financials of Binance. The senators claimed that the “little information” available in regards to Binance’s financials suggests that the exchange is a “hotbed of illegal financial activity.”
It is worth noting that Binance.US hired former FBI special agent BJ Kang in October 2022 to head up its investigation unit, aimed at combating illegal activity on the platform. Kang was once dubbed “the most feared man on Wall Street” by Reuters after being photographed arresting Bernie Madoff, who was found guilty of running the largest Ponzi scheme to date.
Overall, CZ’s swift response to the false rumor demonstrates his commitment to transparency and accountability at Binance. Despite the senators’ demands for more information, Binance has remained steadfast in its mission to provide a secure and compliant platform for its users.