Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao is taking a unit of Sequoia Capital back to court after the VC investor’s case against him was dismissed.
The crypto exchange mogul, nicknamed CZ, claims Sequoia Capital China hurt his reputation and prevented him from raising money at favorable valuations and wants the VC giant to compensate him.
According to a filing submitted on May 20 to the High Court in Hong Kong and obtained by CoinDesk, Zhao has sent an application via his attorneys for a hearing before the court chambers on an order for “immediate summary of assessment of damages.”
A hearing for the case, HCMP 2770/2017, will take place on June 25, according to information availableon the court’s website, between Zhao and SCC Venture VI, a company incorporated as a special purpose vehicle of Sequoia Capital China.
The application demands an inquiry be held to determine if Zhao “has sustained any and what damages” resulting from the injunction order Sequoia obtained on Dec. 27, 2017, which prevented Zhao from raising capital from other investors until March 1, 2018.
If it’s decided that “any such damage has been sustained,” Zhao asks that Sequoia pay him the amount determined at the inquiry. (He did not suggest an amount.)
Zhao stated in the new filing:
“The injunction order has caused loss to me for which I am entitled to reasonable compensation by Sequoia. In particular, I have suffered i) a loss of chance to raise capital through successive rounds of financing at increasing high valuations; and ii) damage to my reputation.”
Sequoia Capital China has not responded to CoinDesk’s request for comment as of press time.
Zhao’s punch-back follows a December 2018 decision by the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, which dismissed all of Sequoia Capital’s claims that Zhao had breached an exclusivity agreement when negotiating Binance’s Series A equity financing.
‘Abuse of process’
The case began when Sequoia Capital obtained the December 2017 injunction order in an ex parte or unilateral procedure without notifying Zhao and subsequently filed a notice for arbitration in January 2018 as a claimant against him.
Sequoia accused Zhao of breaching exclusivity by talking to IDG Capital when still in discussions with Sequoia for the Series A round.
Three months later, following an April 11 hearing, a Deputy High Court Judge ruled in a judgment on April 24 that Sequoia “was wrong to pursue the ex parte application without notice to Zhao,” since there was no explanation or evidence as to why no efforts were made to involve both parties.
“I agree that the use of the ex parte procedure without notice to D. [Defendant, Zhao] was an abuse of process,” the judge said. “If the Injunction were not already spent, I would have set it aside on that basis alone.”
The parties then proceeded with the arbitration in the following months in 2018 with the submission of various evidence before a three-member tribunal at the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center.
According to a final decision made on Dec 12, 2018, the Tribunal dismissed Sequoia’s claims that Zhao had breached exclusivity based on the findings that the discussion with IDG Capital was, in fact, for a Series B round financing.
“The Tribunal finds that that the negotiations with IDG were not in respect of a ‘rival transaction’ to the Series A Financing but were in respect of a proposed Series B financing transaction which was not in competition with the Series A Financing and which did not become a Series A Financing,” the Tribunal stated in its decision.
Binance Plans Launch of New Global Crypto Project to ‘Reshape the World Financial System’
Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, is launching a new blockchain project called Venus. It’s designed to spur the development of stablecoins and crypto assets backed by various fiat currencies. As a “localized” take on Facebook’s Libra, the Venus project intends to have a global reach.
According to the announcement,
“Binance is looking to create new alliances and partnerships with governments, corporations, technology companies, and other cryptocurrency companies and projects involved in the larger blockchain ecosystem, to empower developed and developing countries to spur new currencies.”
Binance intends to leverage its existing blockchain ecosystem and cross-border payment technology in to launch the stablecoin-focused Venus project. Unlike the California-based Facebook, however, which has had to defend its Libra project at US Senate hearings, Binance is based in Malta.
While the latter’s potential impact on the financial system may provoke less backlash than Facebook, which has the ability to leverage it massive userbase of 2.5 billion active monthly users, Binance has been cultivating its own vast blockchain-based ecosystem since the company first launched in 2017. Its reach extends across the globe and includes partnerships, initiatives and exchanges based in Singapore, Uganda, Argentina, Jersey and Australia, along with its upcoming launch in the US.
Introduced in April of 2019, its distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based platform Binance Chain supports several new stablecoins such as the Bitcoin-pegged stablecoin (BTCB) and Binance BGBP stablecoin (BGBP).
The company aims to provide full technical support and a “compliance risk control system” while working on the Venus initiative. The exchange also intends to offer a multi-dimensional cooperation network and will leverage its existing infrastructure and regulatory establishments to create the Venus platform.
Like Facebook’s initiative Libra, the Venus project intends to revolutionize the traditional financial system that uses fiat currencies and often excludes people who don’t have access to bank accounts.
According to co-founder Yi He,
“We believe that in the near and long term, stablecoins will progressively replace traditional fiat currencies in countries around the world, and bring a new and balanced standard of the digital economy.”
“We hope to achieve a vision, that is, to reshape the world financial system, allow countries to have more tangible financial services and infrastructures, protect their financial security and increase the economic efficiency of countries.”
Binance new set of stablecoins to rival Facebook’s Libra
- Binance announced the development of Venus; a crypto inspired by Libra.
- Binance intends to fight the established financial hegemony with a new set of stablecoins.
Malta-based Binance exchange is getting ready to develop stablecoin that will more or less resemble Facebook’s Libra. Unlike Libra, Binance will have different stablecoins for different regions.
The announcement from the company outlines that the reason for the endeavor is to compete with the monopolistic financial hegemony. Binance intends to utilize its position in the global crypto space to push for the adoption of the stablecoins.
According to the announcement the first of the stablecoins is dubbed Venus. The company says that the idea of Venus was inspired by Facebook’s Libra. This will help Binance “to use the technological innovation power given by the times to instigate a new currency and create an independent “regional version of Libra.” Moreover, Binance seems motivated by the idea of replacing the fiat as a system of payment and fund transfer.
Libra is still in development, however, a number of similar coins have already been announced and undergoing development. Binance has the financial power and position in the crypto industry to push for the adoption of the Venus and other such stablecoins. However, we will wait to see if Venus will spur regulatory heat as Libra did.
Binance Reveals ‘Venus’ — Its Own Project to Rival Facebook’s Libra
Top cryptocurrency exchange Binance is launching an open blockchain project “Venus” focused on developing localized stablecoins worldwide.
In an announcement published today, Aug. 19, the exchange argues it is well-positioned to launch such a currency ecosystem in light of its existing public chain technology, Binance Chain, wide user base and already established global compliance measures.
Leveraging existing know-how
The exchange says it is seeking partnerships with governments, corporations, technology firms, and other cryptocurrency and blockchain projects in order to develop a new currency ecosystem that will empower both developed and developing countries
The exchange’s vision for the project, per the announcement, is to “build a new open alliance and sustainable community” that enlists partners who wield influence on a global scale.
Binance Chain, as the announcement notes, has already been running several native asset-pegged stablecoins, including a Bitcoin (BTC)-pegged stablecoin (BTCB) and the Binance BGBP Stable Coin (BGBP) pegged to the British Pound.
Binance says it will leverage its existing infrastructure and experience with various regulatory regimes to consolidate a compliance risk control system and build a multi-dimensional cooperation network for the Venus project.
Vying with Libra
Binance’s ambitious new venture appears to compete directly with plans from social media titan Facebook to launch a fiat-pegged stablecoin, Libra, that would power a global crypto payments network embedded into the company’s three wholly-owned apps: WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram.
With its choice of name, “Venus,” Binance is also stepping into the astrological waters of both Facebook’s Libra project and the Winklevoss Twins’ Gemini exchange and Gemini dollar