Yesterday, the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance announced it’s set to buy out struggling Bahamas-based rival FTX pending due diligence. However, markets are seemingly 50/50 on the chances of the deal going through.
In fact, according to trading platform Polymarkets, the outcome of the question ‘Will Binance pull out of their FTX deal?’ is almost too close to call.
Binance chief Changpeng Zhao (CZ) tweeted on Tuesday, “There is a lot to cover and will take some time. This is a highly dynamic situation, and we are assessing the situation in real time. Binance has the discretion to pull out from the deal at any time. We expect FTT to be highly volatile in the coming days as things develop,” (our emphasis).
While CZ has made it clear the wheels are in motion, his tweet was carefully worded to leave the door open for a swift change of plan. But why would the move be in doubt?
Depending on who you talk to, the hole in FTX’s accounts ranges anywhere between $2 billion and $6 billion and many are predicting that this may be too big of a gap for even crypto giant Binance to fill.
However, there are others who believe that the deal will go through, not because Binance is particularly keen to take on such a massive financial commitment, but because not stepping in could do more damage to CZ’s company in the long run.
Indeed, according to one Twitter user:
“For tourists, crypto is already a scam where they try their luck during a bull run. If these tourists don’t come back, fearing the FTX fiasco, then Binance’s potential $2bn burn per quarter could easily come down to $1bn.”
Whatever the reasons for Binance buying out FTX, and whether or not the deal does eventually get done, the idea is already attracting significant scrutiny from regulatory bodies like the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The CFTC, which has been notoriously harsh on crypto firms in recent years and is vying with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the honor of regulating the space, has reportedly been “monitoring” the situation.
All part of CZ’s plan?
Of course, there’s also the chance that the deal won’t get done for an entirely different reason, namely that it’s all been part of one giant ruse by CZ.
And it kind of makes sense. After all, if the many theories about CZ playing ‘4D chess’ are true, he just took out one of his main rivals in a few days with a tweet.