Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced the delisting of Bitcoin SV (BSV) on Monday after CEO and founder Changpeng Zhao decided he’d had enough of the antics of Fake Satoshi, Craig S. Wright. Within hours, Kraken and Shapeshift followed suit.
You’d have to travel far and wide to find anyone gullible enough to defend Craig Wright at this point, but there’s a case to be made that by delisting BSV on a whim, Binance has shown itself to be a much more dangerous and pernicious force in the crypto space than Bitcoin SV ever could have been.
Binance’s CZ Delists Bitcoin SV
Accompanied by a tweet from CZ with the words ‘Do the right thing’, Binance dropped this official announcement detailing BSV’s removal from the exchange. The announcement states:
“… At Binance, we periodically review each digital asset we list to ensure that it continues to meet the high level of standard we expect. When a coin or token no longer meets this standard, or the industry changes, we conduct a more in-depth review and potentially delist it.”
That statement differs greatly from the one tweeted out by CZ a day earlier, where he laid out his own personal – not technical – reasons for removing BSV.
“To be clear, I don’t choose sides on technology. We let market do that. I am against fraud, such as lying to be someone. As such, it is my strong opinion that: Craig Wright is fraud.”
To be clear: I do not disagree with that assertion in the slightest. I am against unelected authority figures wielding power in a frivolous manner. As such, it is my strong opinion that Changpeng Zhao is a tyrant.
BSV: A Case for the Defence
So Binance’s CZ is ‘against fraud, such as lying to someone’. I admire the sentiment but don’t appreciate the hypocrisy. Why, for example, doesn’t CZ apply the same logic to Tron CEO Justin Sun? Craig Wright told one big lie; Justin Sun tells a thousand small ones, yet Binance continues to work with Tron – a situation possibly helped by the $3 million ‘donation’ gifted by Justin Sun last year.
Today BSV has been given the thumbs down by CZ, which coin will it be tomorrow? Open up any crypto forum on the internet and you’ll see lots of people making the case that Cardano is nothing but an elaborate scam. Same goes for XRP, Dash, EOS… etc. Why doesn’t CZ pass judgment on these coins? (Give it some time, maybe he will).
In a tweet from April 12th, CZ gave yet another reason for BSV’s removal – namely that the BSV/BCH hardfork caused great pain to the crypto industry by causing BTC’s value to drop.
“I normally don’t like get involved in debates, pick sides, etc. But this is going too far. I also didn’t like the fact that the fork caused BTC to drop below $6k, which caused pain to many in the industry.”
Bitcoin Cash holders beware!
A History of Shenanigans: DigiByte Bribery Saga
The problem with CZ taking the moral stance against Bitcoin SV is that he inevitably invites moral judgment upon himself. Binance is no stranger to controversy.
This Twitter thread from October 2018 shows, with screenshots, how a Binance representative allegedly demanded ‘pay-for-play’ from the DigiByte (DGB) team. When the DigiByte team member asked how much the listing fee was, the reply was: ‘What is your budget?’
The following screenshot appears to show the Binance rep referencing an ‘evaluation fee’, and explaining that if DigiByte didn’t ‘pass the evaluation fee’ they wouldn’t be listed on the exchange.
Furthermore, CZ was caught in a pickle himself, as evidenced here when he demanded an apology from Jared Tate in a direct message exchange, only to deny it the next day. The tweet by CZ has since been deleted.
Fake Binance Coin Volume
On top of all of this, there’s some evidence to believe that Binance regularly inflates the trade volume of its own Binance Coin (BNB), as well as the coins launched via Binance Launchpad.
This data from Bear Market Valuations shows the discrepancies between Binance Coin’s reported volume, and what regular market signals suggest it should be.
If Binance Coin’s reported volume was genuine, it would represent a higher daily turnover than any other major traded asset. (Volume taken from trusted exchanges as denoted by Bitwise).
The same goes for Launchpad tokens, such as Celer Network, which showed comparable trade volume to Bitcoin despite no sign of interest showing up on Google Trends.
With this in mind, it becomes difficult to take CZ’s moral stance against Craig Wright at face value.
The Danger of Centralized Exchanges
Binance is still the king among cryptocurrency exchanges – and that’s the point. Changpeng Zhao regularly nurtures the good guy image; the industry leader, boldly pushing cryptocurrency into [please complete cliche].
Going back to the delisting announcement, it would be nice if Binance could stand by its own words when it announces:
“We thank you for your support as we continue to build the crypto ecosystem in a way that promotes transparency and long-term, sustainable growth.”
Such transparency doesn’t exist, and given that the Kraken and Shapeshift exchanges followed Binance’s lead in the wake of the delisting, is indicative of a ‘crypto ecosystem’ where any coin can apparently be blacklisted at any moment. I sold my BSV coins as soon as I could figure out how to split them, but shouldn’t the coin have been given a chance to fend for itself in the free marketplace of (bad) ideas?
No More King Makers
I leave you with this quote by Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin from last year, where he expressed his distrust of the power that centralized exchanges wield. Buterin said:
“We can really take away this stupid king making power that these centralized exchanges have where they have this ability to just decide which tokens become big by deciding to list them and then charging these crazy $10 million to $15 million listing fees. The more we can get away from that world and into something which actually satisfies the blockchain values of openness and transparency the better.”
Binance, take note.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.