Spreading misinformation about Changpeng Zhao ‘was the norm’ for SBF, says Binance CSO

Former FTX chief executive officer Sam Bankman-Fried used Twitter and other means to spread “fake rumors” about Binance chief executive officer Changpeng Zhao, according to Patrick Hillmann.

In an April 21 Twitter thread, Hillmann — the chief strategy officer at Binance — said Bankman-Fried used his influence to label CZ as an ‘evil Chinese’ through “fake rumors” to perpetuate his alleged scams at FTX. Prior to and following FTX filing for bankruptcy in November 2022, SBF and CZ’s public relationship was often antagonistic though the two exchanges had financial ties.

“Sam denigrating CZ was the norm for us,” said Hillman. “Had nothing to do with deciding to sell the worthless FTT on the company’s books.”

In November, CZ announced plans for the exchange to liquidate its position in FTX Tokens (FTT) prior to FTX’s bankruptcy, hinting that Binance would consider purchasing the competitor. When the deal fell apart and FTX filed for Chapter 11, the two industry heads traded barbs through social media, with CZ calling SBF a “fraudster” and the former FTX CEO suggesting that Zhao lied about the buyout discussions.

Related: New FTX documentary to spotlight SBF-CZ relationship

Zhao continues to lead Binance as CEO and regularly post messages on social media amid changes to the regulatory environment for crypto firms. Bankman-Fried, in contrast, faces 13 federal charges including those related to bribery and wire fraud and has only limited Internet access as part of his bail conditions.

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