Binance says it doesn’t own Indian exchange WazirX, years after acquisition announcement – TechCrunch

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, said on Friday that it does not own the India-based WazirX platform despite revealing its acquisition two years ago. and a half in a move that has plagued industry players, including the Indian company.

Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance, said in a a bunch of tweets that the company has been “trying to close the deal for the past few years,” but has yet to complete the transaction citing “some problems” that he declined to explain.

Binance announced the acquisition of WazirX at the end of 2019 in a blog post. The official blog post, which carries pictures of founders Zhao and WazirX, also demonstrates the Binance executive’s enthusiasm for the deal.

“The acquisition of WazirX shows our commitment and dedication to the people of India and strengthens the blockchain ecosystem in India as well as another step towards achieving monetary freedom,” the post said. 2019 quoted him as saying.

WazirX also reported that it was “successfully acquired by BinanceIn a separate blog post.

A tweet from Zhao last year shared a news item about WazirX, where it was described as owned by Binance.

Zhao said Friday that Binance does not “own any equity in Zanmai Labs,” the legal entity that runs WazirX and was founded by the original founders.

“On November 21, 2019, Binance published a blog post stating that they have ‘acquired’ WazirX. This transaction was never completed. Binance has never – at any time – owned any shares of Zanmai Labs, the organization that runs WazirX,” he wrote.

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

The clarification comes after India’s Enforcement Bureau froze over $8 million worth of WazirX assets, citing a suspected violation of foreign exchange rules.

“Recent allegations about WazirX’s activities and the way the platform is managed by Zanmai Labs are of deep concern to Binance. Binance cooperates with law enforcement agencies around the world. We are happy to work with ED in any way possible,” added Zhu.

India’s Anti-Money Laundering Authority said on Friday that Binance rarely responds to queries sent to its official legal compliance email address.

WazirX is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in India by trading volume. The company said that at the end of last year, its annual trading volume surpassed $43 billion in 2021, “a 1.735% increase over 2020”. The platform also provides its technology to several other Indian exchanges.

Updated at 10.58pm IST: Nischal Shetty, co-founder of WazirX, refuted Zhao’s claims, asserting that Binance did indeed acquire WazirX. In a series of tweets, he said:

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