Binance severs ties with Indian crypto exchange WazirX

The debacle between the global cryptocurrency exchange Binance and Zanmai, the operator behind the Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX, continues, with a new blog post stating that Binance is banning the latter from utilizing its services.

On Feb. 3, Binance released a post that acknowledged the ongoing “public debate” with Zanmai over its claims of Binance involvement in running WazirX. Binance said on Jan. 26 it had given WazirX the ultimatum of retracting its statements and continuing using Binance wallet services or terminating its usage.

According to the announcement, Zanmai made no retraction and now has until Feb. 3, 2023, 23:59 UTC, to remove all of its funds from the accounts used for WazirX operations.

Binance clarified that at the time of writing, Zanmai has funds that still remain in Binance wallets used for operational purposes.

This comes less than a month after WazirX revealed that it holds 90% of its users’ funds in Binance wallets, while the remaining 10% are in cold storage wallets. 

That announcement was made following a slew of cryptocurrency exchanges releasing proofs-of-reserves in light of the FTX scandal.

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WazirX is India’s largest crypto exchange. However, it has found itself in hot water with local authorities over the last year. Indian authorities accused the exchange of aiding the money laundering of around $130 million.

At the time of the investigation, millions of user funds were frozen on the exchange. It was at this point that Binance publicly began distancing itself from the Indian exchange, which came in the form of a tweet from Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, which clarified that Binance has no ownership of the exchange.

Shortly after this statement, Binance took the side of local authorities in India during the WazirX investigation and removed off-chain fund transfers with the exchange.