"As a leading player in crypto, we understand that we have a responsibility to lead the charge when it comes to protecting consumers and rebuilding the industry," CZ says.
Binance US is preparing to make another bid for the embattled crypto lender Voyager Digital.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Changpeng Zhao confirmed that his exchange is interested in a deal now FTX "is no longer able to follow through on that commitment."
Voyager Digital slid into bankruptcy over the summer and halted withdrawals after suffering losses of $650 million on a loan to the doomed hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.
A "highly competitive" auction was later held for its assets — and back in September, it was confirmed that FTX had the winning bid of $1.42 billion.
But the sudden collapse of FTX — which until recently had been positioning itself as a savior for stricken crypto firms during the bear market — plunged this acquisition into doubt.
During the Bloomberg interview, CZ also claimed that FTX had spread rumors of national security concerns to stop Binance US from winning the Voyager auction the first time around.
"Binance US did participate in the Voyager bid, there were no issues. Binance also acquired multiple companies in America with no issues. Binance is not a Chinese company, we're not related to China at all — I have to repeat this many times because I look Chinese … Binance US will make another bid for Voyager now."
On Twitter, he followed up by saying that "a Chinese company will never dare to say they are not a Chinese company publicly," adding:
"Think Tencent/WeChat, ByteDance/TikTok, Weibo/Sina, Alibaba, Lenovo, etc."
Industry Recovery Fund Launched
In other developments, Binance has announced that it is committing $1 billion to an industry recovery initiative as the bear market continues to bite, saying:
"As a leading player in crypto, we understand that we have a responsibility to lead the charge when it comes to protecting consumers and rebuilding the industry."
The exchange says it has already received 150 applications from companies seeking support, and explained:
"The mandate of this new effort is to support the most promising and highest quality companies and projects built by the best technologists and entrepreneurs that, through no fault of their own, are facing significant, short term, financial difficulties."
Overall, it is hoped that this effort will help restore confidence in Web3 — and successful applicants will be expected to offer innovation and long-term value creation, a viable business model, and a "laser focus" to risk management.
CZ told Bloomberg that he does expect the crypto sector to suffer some contagion from FTX's collapse in the days and weeks ahead.
"Whenever one big player goes down, especially a trading platform, there are many other people or institutions with money on the platform."
He pointed to Genesis halting withdrawals as an example, with this project confirming that it has $175 million locked up in FTX that it currently cannot access.
Beyond this, he expects "a couple of other" companies to be affected — but overall, he stressed that "the industry is fine."