Binance says it never owned Indian crypto exchange WazirX

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (Image: Binance)

US-based crypto exchange Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has revealed that his company does not own Indian crypto exchange WazirX, a deal which many thought was completed back in 2019.
Zhao in a tweet said, “Binance does not own any equity in Zanmai Labs, the entity operating WazirX and established by the original founders.”

It was perceived that the deal had been closed after Binance published a blog in 2019 saying it had acquired WazirX. Zhao, however, clarified that the transaction was never completed.

“Binance only provides wallet services for WazirX as a tech solution. There is also integration using off-chain tx, to save on network fees. WazirX is responsible for all other aspects of the WazirX exchange, including user sign-up, KYC, trading, and initiating withdrawals,” he tweeted.

Zhao cited a few issues due to which both parties were not able to conclude the deal. He, however, did not give details why why the deal was not closed.

The revelation comes hours after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said it has frozen bank assets of WazirX worth Rs 64.67 crore. The central agency took action against the WazirX Director for assisting the accused instant loan app companies in the laundering of fraud money via the purchase and transfer of virtual crypto assets.
Both companies had not given any details or disclosed the amount of the deal in 2019. In the blog post announcing the acquisition in 2019, Binance had said that by the first quarter of 2020, WazirX’s auto-matching engine was to be integrated into the Binance Fiat Gateway. The integration would have paved way for Binance users to to purchase Tether (USDT) against the Indian Rupee.