Binance CEO and co-founder Changpeng Zhao called Canadian investor and businessman Kevin O’Leary “a liar” on the CNBC pre-market news program Squawk Box.
“How concerned are you that the money given to you by @SBF_FTX will be clawed back? Are you prepared to hand it back to creditors if they were to ask?” @andrewrsorkin asks @cz_binance: pic.twitter.com/nffAzVinHe
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) December 15, 2022
While testifying at a senate hearing on Dec. 14 regarding the FTX scandal, O’Leary accused Binance of putting FTX out of business to become the global monopoly. O’Leary noted that some of the FTX money went to Binance when Sam Bankman-Fried bought out FTX shares from Binance.
In response to O’Leary’s accusations, the Binance CEO said he was surprised that O’Leary made these remarks.
“Kevin O’Leary is making a bunch of nonsense claims. They don’t make sense, they don’t make any logic.”
Although Kevin O’Leary’s entire FTX funds are seemingly gone, Zhao said he was not concerned about his or other FTX users’ funds. Furthermore, the Binance CEO doesn’t believe O’Leary invested in FTX without knowing Binance was also a shareholder.
CZ dismissed concerns about $2.1 billion worth of funds from FTX
In the interview, Zhao was asked if Binance was prepared to return the $2.1 billion payment it received from FTX when it exited its 2019 Series A investment to bankruptcy trustees.
According to the U.S. bankruptcy code, any beneficiary in a two-year lookback window may be reclaimed by the trustee if bankruptcy proceedings establish that the payment was fraudulent or that the individual should have had reasonable knowledge that the payment was fraudulent.
Zhao noted that Binance is “financially ok” but that he would leave it up to the “perfectly capable” lawyers.
The Binance CEO revealed that the repayment was a combination of BUSD, BNB, and FTT. He added that the FTT portion of the repayment was significant, but Binance had “forgotten” about it.