Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has recently defended against allegations suggesting that Binance has been quietly offloading Bitcoin (BTC) to artificially uphold the value of its native token, Binance Coin (BNB). The accusation was put forth by various market observers, including analyst Dylan LeClair and Swan Bitcoin’s CEO Cory Klippsten, who claimed that Binance was intentionally distorting the market to inflate BNB’s worth.
On June 13, in a tweeted response, CZ clarified that neither BTC nor BNB was sold by Binance, underlining that the cryptocurrency exchange continues to hold a considerable amount of FTX Token FTT, the native token of the now-nonoperational crypto exchange FTX.
CZ expressed surprise at the assumption that individuals could precisely determine who sold based on a price chart involving countless traders. “It’s remarkable how they can pinpoint who has sold merely from a price chart engaging millions of traders. That’s spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD),” he commented.
CZ’s defense was a direct counter to a June 14 claim by technical analysis platform Skew, which implicated Binance in market manipulation through a series of trades involving BTC, BNB, and Tether (USDT). In the same discussion, Bitcoin analyst Dylan LeClair stated that BNB is obviously a manipulated market, trading with less actual volume compared to BTC.
Cory Klippsten, the CEO of Swan Bitcoin, echoed these sentiments in a June 13 tweet. He accused Binance of “wash trading,” a market manipulation strategy that involves selling an asset and then buying it back shortly after to increase its demand or make it seem like there’s more activity in the market.
Joe Consorti, an analyst from The Bitcoin Layer, described BNB’s price action as peculiar, noting that the “$220 level” was being strongly upheld, suggesting that it could be a liquidation level for a BNB-collateralized loan. Responding to CZ’s tweet, Consorti insisted that Binance should release an audited statement showing that it holds no BNB-collateralized liabilities to put an end to the FUD.
On June 5, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Binance.US for allegedly violating securities laws and engaging in wash trading via its undisclosed ‘market making’ trading firm Sigma Chain, which is owned by CZ. Both CZ and Binance.US have refuted these allegations, asserting that they plan to vigorously defend the charges brought against them in the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C.