Author: Wang Yanhua
The ongoing saga between Binance and Sequoia has reached new temperatures.
On Monday, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao released a cryptic tweet, saying that Binance is considering requiring projects to disclose any affiliation with Sequoia when they apply to have their assets listed on the firm’s platform.
Zhao did not expound on his cryptic tweet, nor did he state outright that the company would discriminate against Sequoia-affiliated projects.
Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and Sequoia is an American venture capital firm. The two heavyweights’ dispute began in mid-December last year, when negotiations broke down between them.
Li Lin, the founder of Huobi, another prominent cryptocurrency exchange, commented on this issue on Wechat on Tuesday. He wrote in Mandarin, “Many friends have asked me about whether Binance will have special policies towards Sequoia-linked projects. I find this rather sudden.”
He made his stance clear, “Fairly treating all projects is every exchange’s basic policy.”
Sequoia made an offer to purchase an 11 percent stake in Binance in a deal for $80 million. However, after a cryptocurrency market boom where cryptocurrency prices and transaction values soared to all-time highs, Binance later received an offer that would have injected two rounds of funding into Binance at vastly higher valuations: $400 million and $1 billion, respectively.
At issue is whether Zhao’s talks with IDG Capital violated his exclusivity agreements with Sequoia. While Sequoia and Zhao planned to settle their dispute in arbitration, the disagreement became public after Sequoia turned to Hong Kong’s High Court and secured a temporary injunction barring Zhao from negotiating with other investors.