Changpeng Zhao, founder and chief executive of Binance renounced the deal on Twitter, claiming that the company has been “trying to conclude the deal for the past few years,” but wasn’t able to complete the deal due to “a few issues” and “Binance has never – at any point – owned any shares of Zanmai Labs, the entity operating WazirX.
This claim followed the events of India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) freezing WazirX’s $8.1 million dollar worth of funds. The ED has been hot on WazirX’s tail since last 2021 for its alleged role in a money laundering scheme involving Chinese-owned illegal online betting applications.
During the course of the investigation it was found that the laundered proceeds worth about $570 million rupees had been converted into cryptocurrencies using the Binance platform. The ED also reflected that Binance rarely responds to queries sent to its official legal compliance email address.
While the chief executive refused to elaborate on the concrete reasons why the deal couldn’t move forward, different parties recall Binance announcing the acquisition of WazirX late 2019 in a blog post featuring the chief executive himself and WazirX founders.
Zhao said in that 2019 blog post, “The acquisition of WazirX shows our commitment and dedication to the Indian people and strengthen the blockchain ecosystem in India as well as another step forward in achieving the freedom of money” WazirX in parallel reported that it had been “successfully acquired by Binance” in a separate blog post.
Nischal Shetty, co-founder of WazirX, claims that Binance indeed acquired WazirX in a series of tweets on 6 Aug.