Nov 8, 2022 - Economy

Crypto exchange Binance to acquire rival FTX

Illustrated collage of the FTX logo, money and rectangles.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Binance has signed a letter of intent to acquire, the exchange associated with Sam Bankman-Fried, according to tweets from CEOs of both companies.

Why it matters: Binance is the largest exchange by volume in the world. FTX is the fourth largest. It's acquiring a fast-growing rival amidst a wider downturn in the crypto market.

  • FTX, which has raised around $2 billion in venture capital funding, as of noon had not yet communicated with its own investors about the Binance sale, multiple sources tell Axios.

The big picture: FTX had taken a significant leadership role in the U.S. blockchain industry as it aggressively sought regulations that would provide the industry with regulatory clarity in its largest market.

  • Its young CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, has become one of the industry's most recognized faces.
  • Binance has been around the crypto industry for a long time, but FTX's growth has been absolutely explosive, allowing it to quickly rival the market leader.

What they're saying: "This afternoon, FTX asked for our help. There is a significant liquidity crunch. To protect users, we signed a non-binding LOI, intending to fully acquire and help cover the liquidity crunch. We will be conducting a full [due diligence] in the coming days," Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (better known as CZ) tweeted this morning.

Of note: Both companies have separate companies set up to serve U.S. customers. FTX-US will not be impacted by this deal, according to a separate tweet from Bankman-Fried.

  • Neither company immediately responded to a request for comment.

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