Why CZ’s Reaction to the ‘Police Raid’ Is More Disturbing Than the Raid Itself
Anyone with a finger on the pulse of the crypto-sphere would know about The Block’s explosive report that came out earlier this week. In it, the news outlet claimed that “Binance’s Shanghai office shut down following police raid.”
Separating Fact from Fiction
The reactions which followed the accusations were instant and acute. Tweets were fired, sides were taken, and the crypto world is still left scratching its head wondering what is fact and what is fiction.
Binance’s outspoken CEO Changpeng Zhao claimed that not only was there no raid, but there were no offices in Shanghai. Yet, follow up articles from both The Block, as well as the investigative journalism website, Bellingcat, painted a different picture.
Binance was sure to remind the public that, as a decentralized company, there are employees working from all around the world. However, a deeper analysis proved that there was, in fact, a room, in a building, with several Binance employees, working…. sounds like an office to me, no matter what fancy jargon you throw at it.
But what was the most disconcerting of this entire episode was not the potentially exaggerated report, it was not the raid itself, it was not even the fact that the debacle caused the price of Bitcoin to drop by $1000.
What was most disturbing was the swift and severe reaction of Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, and the lengths he will go to squash any form of negative press.
Following the release of the first article, CZ shared an angry tweet in which he not only demanded an apology from The Block but vowed to take legal action over the article. The Block did not do as the Twitter personality asked, and rather published a second article standing by their reporting and confirming their claims. At this point, CZ seemed to lose it.
He shared another tweet in which he, followed by Tron CEO Justin Sun, each allocated 100BTC for a “FUD Fighting Fund.” The notion of creating a ‘fighting fund’ to silence thorough and well-defended investigative journalism sounds eerily like an attempt at stifling press freedom.
The co-founder of The Block, Mike Dudas, shared this sentiment and responded to CZ’s pledge on Twitter claiming “two of the wealthiest men in cryptocurrency plan to raise a ‘FUD fighting fund’ worth more than $1 million, presumably to wield as an implicit threat against journalists who report facts that run contrary to their business interests.”
CZ has become known for his defensiveness when it comes to his Binance creation, and he is renowned for his quick Twitter comebacks that regularly hit the mark and dazzle his beloved audience.
But vowing to create a “FUD Fighting Fund” sounds like a plan to strong-arm critics – which is criminal. And threatening to sue for a bad article is intimidation at its finest.