A furious CZ from Binance has vowed to sue The Block over a ‘fake news’ story partly blamed for this week’s plunge in the Bitcoin price.
Changpeng Zhao is taking cryptocurrency news and analysis website The Block to court after the startup refused to apologise for its November 21 story alleging that Binance’s Shanghai office had been shut down following a ‘police raid’.
CZ has branded the story “irresponsible” “fake news” and demanded an apology.
Following Binance’s outraged response, The Block amended the story to say the office was shut down “following a visit by authorities”.
Binance told Bloomberg there was no raid and that it hasn’t had a Shanghai office for two years.
“Any reports of a police raid are false” a spokesperson said. “We do not have an office in Shanghai.
We will be suing them.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) November 23, 2019
They quoted Coin Metrics co-founder of research Nic Carter as saying story was “likely partly responsible for Bitcoin’s drop of as much as 8.4% Thursday”.
The Bitcoin price hit its lowest level in six months in the days after the story, which was part of a wave of market confidence shaking news from China.
CZ has the money to destroy The Block even if he loses
As a startup launched with only a couple of million in funding, The Block faces an uphill battle paying to defend itself court against the billionaire owner of the world’s most successful cryptocurrency exchange.
CZ has been denouncing the story as FUD that is bad for the crypto space on Twitter since it was published, but he appears to have tipped over into anger when The Block’s news director Frank Chaparro doubled down on the story a few hours ago.
Chaparro said he needed to set the record straight “in light of the unusually vociferous backlash over the story”.
The Block provides pictures
In a 1400 word piece, Chaparro said numerous sources had visited the Shanghai office – not to mention Chinese media site Caijing.com which visited on October 29 when it was still operating and yesterday after it had been cleared out.
The sources claimed CZ had worked from the office this year.
“You can argue about the semantics of an office, who leased it, for how long, if it is empty, etc,” wrote CZ yesterday. “But you can’t argue about the semantics of a “police raid” that did NOT happen. Without the fake “police raid”, there is no article. Pure FUD!”
They got a few more eyeballs this time, yes. But it makes TheBlock rated as a fake news site. If that’s how they want their brand to be known, it makes sense. No apologie so far about the fake news either. Irresponsible journalism.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) November 22, 2019
Chaparro said the ‘police raid’ story had come from a Binance employee who has provided reliable information in the past, although he back-pedaled on the term “raid” and downgraded the description to saying that authorities had visited before the office shut down.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve faced a gauntlet of criticism for our reporting, and it won’t be the last,” he said.
“That’s simply table stakes when you report on matters that well-moneyed and powerful companies would just as soon see buried. At the end of the day The Block will continue to objectively cover the digital asset space, warts and all, without fear or favor.”