BENGALURU: Crypto exchange WazirX and Changpeng Zhao-run Binance may soon resolve the ownership issue, according to sources aware of the development. Lawyers of both the exchanges are coordinating to sort out the issue, the sources added.
In November 2019, Binance announced that it had acquired WazirX and after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted searches on one of the directors of Zanmai Labs, which owns WazirX, the largest crypto exchange Binance clarified that the 2019 acquisition was limited to an agreement to purchase certain assets and intellectual property of WazirX.
Binance did not purchase any equity in Zanmai Labs. In addition, WazirX (including the foregoing assets) continues to be operated and managed by Zanmai Labs, the crypto exchange said. However, Nischal Shetty, founder of WazirX has been saying that WazirX was acquired by Binance and it owns the WazirX domain name. “Binance has root access to AWS (Amazon Web Services) servers,” Shetty said.
Both the founders had a public spat on Twitter. Zhao said Binance does not have control over operations including user sign-up, KYC, trading and initiating withdrawals and WazirX’s founding team controls that. “This was never transferred, despite our requests. The deal was never closed,” he said.
Sources said both the founders never had direct communication since February. It is said that after acquisition talks in 2019, owners were supposed to continue for another two years. In February when WazirX enquired Binance about the acquisition, the latter said the parent entity is under restructuring.
Meanwhile, industry sources said that nine cryptocurrency exchanges including WazirX are being questioned regarding Chinese loan apps.