Binance CEO says El Salvador told him it doesn't have funds stuck on FTX

Quick Take

  • Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said he spoke to El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele, who told him that the country does not have bitcoin on the FTX exchange. 
  • The tweet came after an interview with Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz on CNBC, who questioned whether or not the country had exposure to the collapsed exchange.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said he spoke with El Salvador's president Nayib Bukele, who denied that the Central American country had any funds on FTX's exchange. 

"Man, the amount of misinformation is insane," Zhao said. "I exchanged messages with President Nayib a few moments ago. He said 'We don’t have any Bitcoin in FTX and we never had any business with them. Thank God!'"

Zhao wrote the tweet in an apparent attempt to clarify comments from Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz during a CNBC interview in which he questioned whether or not the country had exposure to FTX. Bukele has not made any comments about the troubled exchange on social media as of press time.

Novogratz followed up with a subsequent tweet and said he had fallen for "fake news."

"Apologies to @nayibbukele and the people of El Salvador," he said. "While I mentioned I hadn’t confirmed it, I should have."

El Salvador has purchased 2,381 bitcoins since it made the cryptocurrency legal tender in 2021. Unofficial estimates show the portfolio would have unrealized losses of more than 60% based on current asset prices. 

(Updates with additional comment from Novogratz.)

Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

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