Binance’s native BNB token plunges to its lowest point since July

Binance’s co-founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao has given several interviews discussing the outlook for cryptocurrency after a turbulent few weeks in the market.

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More than a month after the collapse of FTX, investors were worried about crypto exchange Binance does not fade.

from Binance native token, BNB, is down 15% in the past week, including a drop of more than 6% in the past 24 hours. BNB, first minted in 2017, is the world’s fifth most valuable cryptocurrency, with a market cap of approximately $39 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. It’s behind alone bitcoin, etherchain and USD coin.

The final issue looming over Binance is FTX’s bankruptcy proceedings. Binance was the first outside investor in FTX. Upon exiting its equity position in the company last year, Binance received a payment of approximately $2.1 billion.

In an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao dismissed concerns that his company could reclaim that money as FTX makes its way through bankruptcy court and trustees try to pinpoint fraudulent transfers from FTX outside companies or investors.

“We’re financially sound,” Zhao said, after being asked by CNBC’s Becky Quick if the company can handle a $2.1 billion demand.

Crypto investors have become skeptical of comments from top executives about the financial health of their companies. FTX founder and ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said on Twitter that his company’s assets were fine, even as executives knew it was in the middle of a liquidity crisis that eventually forced the stock market into bankruptcy. Bankman-Fried was arrested this week in the Bahamas and charged by US prosecutors with fraud and money laundering charges.

Withdrawal requirements are another concern. Zhao said about $1.14 billion in net withdrawals took place on Tuesday, but tweeted that these were “not the highest withdrawals we’ve processed, not even the highest.” [five]On Wednesday, he said the situation had “stabilized”.

A Binance spokesperson told CNBC in a statement that “we passed this extreme stress test because we operate a very simple business model: holding assets in custody and generating revenue from transaction fees.” The spokesperson did not immediately answer a question about the decline in BNB.

Binance and FTX were closely related. Zhao publicly announced last month that his company was liquidating its position in FTT, FTX’s native currency, due to concerns over the solvency of both FTX and its sister trading firm, Alameda Research.

FTX then faced an immediate wave of withdrawal demands and Binance stepped in with a non-binding agreement to acquire the company as part of a bailout. A day later, Binance pulled out of the deal, stating that FTX’s “problems are beyond our control or ability to help.”

Like all major crypto projects and companies, Binance developed its own currency. On its website, the company says people can “use BNB to pay for goods and services, pay transaction fees on Binance Smart Chain, participate in exclusive token sales, and more.” Areas where BNB can be used, the site says, include payment, travel and entertainment.

There is a circulating supply of approximately 160 million BNB out of a total maximum supply of 200 million, according to CoinMarketCap. Bloomberg reported in June that the SEC was investigating whether the 2017 token sale amounted to an offered security that should have been registered with regulators.

— CNBC’s MacKenzie Sigalos contributed to this report.

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