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

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume, said on Friday that it does not own India-based platform WazirX, despite announcing the acquisition two and a half years ago.

Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s founder and chief executive officer, said in a series of tweets that the company “has been trying to finalize the deal for the past few years” but has not yet completed the transaction, citing “some issues” and rejected it to go into more detail.

Binance announced the acquisition of WazirX in late 2019 in a blog post. The official blog post, which included an image of the founders of Zhao and WazirX, showed the Binance executive’s excitement about the deal. “The acquisition of WazirX demonstrates our commitment and devotion to the Indian people and strengthening the blockchain ecosystem in India, as well as another step forward in achieving freedom of money,” the Post quoted him as saying.

Zhao said on Friday that Binance “owns no stake in Zanmai Labs,” the company that powers WazirX and was founded by the original founders.

“On November 21, 2019, Binance published a blog post that it had “acquired” WazirX. This transaction was never completed. Binance has never owned any shares in Zanmai Labs, the company that powers WazirX,” he wrote.

“Binance only offers wallet services for WazirX as a technical solution. There is also integration with off-chain TX to save on network fees. WazirX is responsible for all other aspects of the WazirX exchange including user sign-up, KYC, trading and initiating withdrawals,” he added.

The clarification follows India’s Enforcement Directorate freezing over $8 million in assets of WazirX, citing an alleged breach of foreign exchange regulations.

“The recent allegations about the operation of WazirX and the management of the platform by Zanmai Labs are of great concern to Binance. Binance works with law enforcement agencies around the world. We would be happy to collaborate with ED in any way we can,” added Zhao.

WazirX is the largest crypto exchange in India. Its annual trading volume surpassed $43 billion in 2021, a “1,735% growth from 2020,” the company said late last year. The platform is also making its technology available to several other Indian exchanges.

WazirX did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday evening (local time). Binance says it doesn’t own Indian exchange WazirX, years after acquisition announcement – TechCrunch

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