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 Bans US-Based IP Addresses, And the Crypto Community is Very Unhappy
- Binance DEX will no longer allow customers to use the exchange with an IP address in the US.
- The community is unhappy with this decision, despite being told that the ban was the decision of Binance.org.
Binance DEX, the decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, made a major announcement a few days ago that is not sitting very well with the community. The announcement declared that the exchange would not be accessible by users that have an IP addresses in the United States.
Considering the massive role that the US plays in cryptocurrency transactions, the community clearly came back with a lot of criticism, even accusing Binance of not being a truly decentralized platform.
The Binance ecosystem has been criticized before for being more centralized than they let on, depending too much on the personnel in management. However, Binance has consistently stated that their platform for trading is decentralized, stating that any accusation otherwise is entirely baseless. The CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, was asked how a decentralized platform could exclude users from a particular region of the world, to which he stated that the exclusion was due to Binance.org instead of the DEX.
Ever since this announcement came out, there have been crypto proponents and stakeholders alike that have lashed out. In fact, Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum even posted to Twitter about this concern, receiving a reply from Zhao that what is said on Twitter is not always true.
He also posted another tweet that repeats the notion above that the DEX did not block US customers, but Binance.Org did.
With the partnership, Binance.US will be launched, which is meant specifically for American customers. Considering the block from the main exchange, this partnership has raised a lot of questions, coming at the same time that a lot of other exchanges have blocked the US, like Huobi Global.
Even with the explanation that Zhao offers, it is clear that the community isn’t exactly convinced that he is being truthful. Last month, after hackers went after the Binance DEX, the platform became the subject of an accusation.
The controversy just got worse after Zhao announced that Binance was a potential reorganization involving the Bitcoin that was lost during this $40 million attack.
The community further stated that they would’ve been persuaded by this idea, eliminating the myths regarding decentralization, if this had been possible.
Bitcoin’s open interest begins to spike as research shows BTC trades shoots up at start of the week
Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency has not just seen a rise in price and market cap but also in various other attributes. These rises together contributed to BTC’s current standing on top of the chart with a market cap much higher than $150 billion.
According to new reports, the open interest of Bitcoin is also on the rise with hopes that the parameters will go up again once Bitcoin’s price reaches closer to the psychological $10,000 level. This mark was last achieved on 7 March 2018, and the latest bull run has played a role in pushing Bitcoin’s fortunes into the positive realm. The current analysis of Bitcoin’s open interest showed that the spike in magnitude has been consistent, holding near the 76,000-mark.
Just recently, Bitcoin futures contract also displayed a strong Volume/Open Interest on the event of its contract expiry. Alex Kruger, a popular financial market analyst had stated that:
“Bitcoin is the second most heavily traded asset at the CME when measured by the volume / open interest ratio. In other words, bitcoin is an asset very actively traded throughout the day.”
The rise in Bitcoin’s open interest rate comes at a time when the cryptocurrency has been vying to breach the $9000 mark again. Skew, a Bitcoin analysis website also added:
“The 10,000 strike is the largest open interest on the upside for the upcoming June options expiry on the 28th – ~1,700 bitcoin options contracts open.”
The rise in Bitcoin’s individual sectors went hand in hand with another analysis that informed users that the maximum amount of BTC trade occurred at the start of the week, ie. Sunday and Monday. The daily and hourly breakdown of the trades showed that on an average Sundays saw $183.5 million worth of Bitcoin trade while Monday one-upped it by witnessing BTC trade worth $197.5 million on average. This research was a counter-argument to all those who believed that trades hit a low point during the weekends.
Binance coin pumps by almost 3% in an hour with large volume sell orders
Most major cryptocurrencies saw the bull smile at them as the prices surged on June 15. Binance coin [BNB] saw a rally that pumped the price of the seventh largest cryptocurrency by over 4% within the four hours.
Source: Trading view
The price of the coin pumped and was trading at approximately $33, while according to the data of CoinMarketCap, the spike was noticed by 2.13% over the past day. The market cap of the coin was noted to be $4.75 billion as the 24-hour trading volume was reported to be $696.34 million. In the past seven days, the coin registered 5.42% growth after recovering from a fall.
The twitter users caught the large volume of BNB being traded after a long time. Twitter user @krugermacro said:
“$BNB puking, largest selling volume in ages.”
The news of Binance restricting the users in the United States impacted the price of the coin, however, the coin was quick to recover from it. The highest trading volume within 24-hours was noted by Binance with BNB/USDT and BNB/BTC pairs, respectively. On the first position, BNB/USDT noted a volume of $151 million followed by BNB/BTC with $147 million. The third place was taken by BKEX exchange with BNB/USDT pair as it reported a volume of $99 million.