Binance CEO CZ on Sam Bankman-Fried’s Voyager Bailout: ‘I Would Never Do That Type of Deal’

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao—better known to everyone in crypto as “CZ”—wouldn’t have made the deal that Alameda Research made with Voyager Digital.

Alameda, the firm founded by crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried (CEO of Binance rival FTX) last month extended a $500 million line of credit to crypto broker Voyager Digital. On Wednesday, Voyager’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing revealed that Alameda itself owes Voyager $377 million.

Speaking with Decrypt on Thursday for an upcoming episode of the gm podcast, CZ said when asked about Alameda and Voyager, “That was surprising even to me, to be honest. I try not to comment on our competitors or industry peers. But I would never do that type of deal. I would never say, ‘I will invest in your company and then you loan me some money.’ I would just not invest in that company, I’ll keep my money.”

He was reluctant to comment more specifically on the slew of other deals that Bankman-Fried’s companies have made in the last two weeks amid a massive crypto liquidity crunch. But earlier in the conversation, Zhao said he and the team at Binance prefer things to be more straightforward.

“Personally, for me, and to a large extent for Binance, we like very simple deals. We like deals like, ‘What’s your revenue? What’s your user number?’ We don’t like deals where, ‘Hey, I owe you this money, you pay me back this much money, you invest in me, I give you more money in loans, and then you bail me out.’ Why don’t we just return all the money and go back to zero and talk about net, who owes who money?”

It’s not the first time Zhao has been critical of bailouts, but it is the first time he’s made it clear that Alameda’s $500 million line of credit to Voyager is something he would not touch.

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Still, the timing of his previous comments about FTX’s moves has been plenty suggestive.

On June 23, two days after FTX announced a $250 million line of credit to ailing crypto broker BlockFi (which became $400 million last week), CZ published a blog post. 

“Don’t perpetuate bad companies,” he wrote. “Let them fail. Let other better projects take their place, and they will.”

CZ is the next guest on Decrypt’s gm podcast; the latest guest was Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis. Listen wherever you get your podcasts, and make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode.

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